Differential diagnosis of major causes of pneumothorax

What is the differential diagnosis of major causes of pneumothorax?

In the following list, an asterisk (*) indicates the most common causes:

  • • Idiopathic*: most often because of rupture of an apical bleb
  • • Trauma*: blunt or penetrating injury, iatrogenic injury (e.g., central venous line placement), barotrauma (mechanical ventilation)
  • • Obstructive lung disease (e.g., chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma)
  • • Cystic lung disease (e.g., Langerhans cell histiocytosis, lymphangiomyomatosis, tuberous sclerosis)
  • • Bronchiectasis or cavitary lung disease (e.g., cystic fibrosis, tuberculosis, Pneumocystis carinii jiroveci ) pneumonia)
  • • Advanced interstitial lung disease with honeycombing (e.g., usual interstitial pneumonia, sarcoidosis, chronic hypersensitivity pneumonitis)
  • • Adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)
  • • Endometriosis (e.g., catamenial pneumothorax)
  • • Bronchopulmonary fistula (e.g., after lung surgery or transplantation)
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