A case of bilateral pneumothorax following computer-tomography guided transthoracic biopsy in a woman with suspected pulmonary cancer

Erik Sören Halvard Hansen*, Meyya Bouazzi, Klaus Richter Larsen, Annemette Abield-Nielsen, Oli Jacob Dalsgaard, Kasper Eibye

*Corresponding author for this work

Abstract

Computer-tomography-guided needle biopsies are useful for diagnosing, staging, and classification of peripheral pulmonary nodules. However, the procedure carries a risk of iatrogenic pneumothorax. This report describes a patient-case where a woman had undergone a computer-tomography guided biopsy. Approximately 4 hours following discharge the patient was admitted to the emergency ward with severe chest pain and dyspnea. Chest x-ray revealed bilateral pneumothorax and subcutaneous emphysema at the biopsy site. Pleural drainage was administered on the patient's right side. Another chest x-ray following drainage showed regression of pneumothorax on both sides thus indicating communicating pleural cavities. Medical history revealed that the patient had been thymectomized 2 years earlier and a computer tomography visualized that the patient lacked mediastinal separation of the two pleural cavities. It is possible that patients with a history of mediastinal or thoracic surgery should be observed longer following procedures carrying risk of iatrogenic pneumothorax.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere01157
JournalRespirology Case Reports
Volume11
Issue number8
ISSN2051-3380
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023

Keywords

  • bilateral pneumothorax
  • respiratory failure
  • thymectomy

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