Primary spontaneous pneumothorax

Primary spontaneous pneumothorax is an abnormal accumulation of air in the space between the lungs and the chest cavity (called the pleural space) that can result in the partial or complete collapse of a lung. This type of pneumothorax is described as primary because it occurs in the absence of lung disease such as emphysema. Spontaneous means the pneumothorax was not caused by an injury such as a rib fracture. Primary spontaneous pneumothorax is likely due to the formation of small sacs of air (blebs) in lung tissue that rupture, causing air to leak into the pleural space. Air in the pleural space creates pressure on the lung and can lead to its collapse. A person with this condition may feel chest pain on the side of the collapsed lung and shortness of breath.Blebs may be present on an individual's lung (or lungs) for a long time before they rupture. Many things can cause a bleb to rupture, such as changes in air pressure or a very sudden deep breath. Often, people who experience a primary spontaneous pneumothorax have no prior sign of illness; the blebs themselves typically do not cause any symptoms and are visible only on medical imaging. Affected individuals may have one bleb to more than thirty blebs. Once a bleb ruptures and causes a pneumothorax, there is an estimated 13 to 60 percent chance that the condition will recur.

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