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June 15, 1963

Late Contralateral Pneumothorax After Pneumonectomy for Carcinoma

Author Affiliations

Miami, Fla.

From the Department of Surgery of the University of Miami School of Medicine and the Jackson Memorial Hospital.

JAMA. 1963;184(11):892-894. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.73700240017019

PNEUMOTHORAX occurring a year or longer after pneumonectomy may be considered late. This division of time allows for the development of some of the compensatory changes in the remaining lung. Late contralateral pneumothorax following pneumonectomy for carcinoma is rare. Blalock,1 reviewing 340 pneumonectomies, reported four cases and collected an additional nine from the literature in which it occurred immediately postoperatively. A ruptured bleb or bulla was probably the cause of the pneumothorax in most of these patients. The mortality from this complication was high. Two of the four patients reported by him and all nine of the cases previously reported died. Late pneumothorax was not noted. Melick and Gutekunst,2 observed pneumothorax occurring 60 days postoperatively in a 42-yr-old male following a left pneumonectomy for tuberculosis complicated by bronchiectasis. Borrie,3 described this complication occurring 3 mo post left pneumonectomy for bronchiectasis in a 10-yr-old male. Both patients survived