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Requirement of interventional treatment in a patient being conservatively managed for persistent pneumothorax over a prolonged period
  1. Sophia Brenac1 and
  2. Nawaid Ahmad2
  1. 1Keele University School of Medicine, Keele, Staffordshire, UK
  2. 2Department of Respiratory Medicine, Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals NHS Trust, Telford, Shropshire, UK
  1. Correspondence to Sophia Brenac; sophia.brenac{at}


An 85-year-old ex-smoker being managed conservatively over 2 years for a small right apical pneumothorax presented to the respiratory clinic with suddenly worsening shortness of breath and chest pain. A chest radiograph demonstrated sudden deterioration in the size of his pneumothorax. Previous CT scans had found emphysematous cystic changes within the lungs, and his new presentation warranted definitive surgical intervention with a right bullectomy and talc pleurodesis through a video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery procedure. The patient made a good recovery and was discharged from clinic a year later. This case demonstrates the importance of follow-up in patients with unresolved pneumothoraces due to the potential for sudden deterioration, and highlights the significance of respecting patient involvement and autonomy in the decision-making process.

  • Respiratory medicine
  • Pneumothorax

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  • Correction notice This article has been corrected since it has been published online. A co-author "Nawaid Ahmad" has been added in the article.

  • Contributors SB and NA authored this article.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.