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June 3, 1916


JAMA. 1916;LXVI(23):1776-1777. doi:10.1001/jama.1916.02580490024008

Pneumothorax is said to be spontaneous or natural when there is no evident external or internal cause. There must be a cause, but in many cases it is difficult to find and impossible to prove. The report of the following case very well illustrates these points:

History.  —The patient is a man, aged 25, who has been under my observation for three years with several routine physical examinations. Nothing abnormal has been detected in heart or lungs. He was always considered a healthy, active young man. His father died of heart trouble several years ago; his mother is living and well. He has no brothers or sisters. There has been no tuberculosis or cancer in the family.His habits are good. He has never had syphilis. He smokes a pipe four or five times daily and takes an occasional glass of beer. There has been no recent change in weight

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