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July 15, 1944


Author Affiliations

MEDICAL CORPS, ARMY OF THE UNITED STATES Chief and Assistant Chief Respectively of the X-Ray Service

JAMA. 1944;125(11):782-783. doi:10.1001/jama.1944.72850290001007

In a series of over 5,000 patients we have had 4 instances of spontaneous pneumothorax. One of these proved to be of tuberculous origin. All 4 occurred on the right side. Three of the patients recovered completely. The case we are reporting ended fatally. The condition of pneumothorax simplex was first described by MacDowel in 1856. In some of the cases described a rupture of a valve vesicle on the lung was thought to be the cause; in the majority of the cases no cause was found. In about 25 per cent of cases recurrence in the same lung field was reported. An uncommon form, called the alternating type, was found in a small percentage of cases. In this type one pneumothorax healed fully, and some time later the other lung developed a pneumothorax. The rarest type was the bilateral spontaneous pneumothorax, in which one side ruptured before the original

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