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December 1963

Management of Spontaneous Pneumothorax: A Comparison of Treatment Methods

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, University of Louisville School of Medicine, the Louisville General Hospital, and the Louisville Veterans Administration Hospital.

Arch Surg. 1963;87(6):1023-1028. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1963.01310180139023

Itard1 first recognized pneumothorax as a pathological entity and gave it a name in 1803; however, it was Laennec,2 in 1819, who gave an accurate clinical and autopsy description of spontaneous pneumothorax and first appreciated its possible relationship to emphysema and bleb formation.

Tuberculosis was considered to be the predominant cause of spontaneous pneumothorax by most in the later 19th century and the early 20th century. However, Laennec, in 1819; McDowell,* in 1856; Chauffard,4 in 1896; and Fussell and Riesman,5 in 1902, seriously questioned this concept by case reports in which they were unable to demonstrate tuberculosis. It remained for Kjaergaard,6 in 1933, to establish finally that the large majority of spontaneous pneumothoraces are of a nontuberculous origin and to stimulate further clinical and pathological studies to establish its etiology. Tuberculosis was seldom incriminated as the cause of spontaneous pneumothorax in our patients. Over 80%

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