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September 25, 1954


Author Affiliations

New York

Assistant, Thoracic Surgeon, Triboro Hospital and French Hospital (Dr. Barber), and Visiting Physician, Triboro Hospital, and Associate Physician, Mary Immaculate Hospital (Dr. Lamberta).

JAMA. 1954;156(4):307-310. doi:10.1001/jama.1954.02950040013004

The bulla as a common cause for pneumothorax has attracted increasing attention. Its growth to a giant air cyst with crippling pressure effects and respiratory invalidism is less well known. A return of useful respiratory capacity in the afflicted patient has been indicated already in various reports by removal of the air cysts1; however, many physicians emphasize an underlying pulmonary emphysema as insurmountable in treatment and allow the disease process to run its inexorable course. The potential for rehabilitation in many cases of advanced giant air cystic disease merits more notice, while the importance of associated emphysema should receive further investigation. This paper is prompted by a personal experience, between 1951 and 1953, with 11 respiratory invalids who had giant air cystic disease and whose lungs were restored to useful function by the use of a limited excision.

Air cysts of the lungs are classified with respect to the

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