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February 1957

Spontaneous Hemopneumothorax

Author Affiliations

Des Moines, Iowa
From the Department of Surgery, Veterans Hospital.

AMA Arch Surg. 1957;74(2):232-237. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1957.01280080084013

By definition, spontaneous hemopneumothorax is the sudden entrance of air from the lung into the pleural space with concomitant bleeding into the pleural space in the absence of external precipitating factors. The qualifying adjective "nontuberculous" is sometimes added as a prefix to designate this disease.

History  In 1900 the first reports of this disease were made by Pitt,12 Rolleston,14 and Boland,2 independently of each other. Hartzell,9 in 1942, collected from the literature 40 instances of this disease and added 3 more case reports. By 1950 ninety-three cases were on record and certainly the diagnosis was being made with increasing frequency. The mortality rate among the reported cases was 20%, and this included mild as well as severe degrees of involvement.The development of thoracic surgery and the elucidation of principles of treatment of chest injuries with traumatic hemothorax laid the background for the surgical treatment of

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