Spontaneous pneumothorax may complicate lung disease which is clinically or radiologically apparent in patients suffering from chronic bronchitis, asthma, tuberculosis, bronchiectasis, and, less commonly, bronchial cancer, silicosis, pulmonary infarction, and other more rare disorders. These patients are usually in the older age group, and the commonest predisposing factor is chronic bronchitis. Pneumothorax occurring in these diseases is well recognized and needs no further elaboration.
Spontaneous pneumothorax may also occur in apparently healthy people with no demonstrable pulmonary lesion. The subjects are often young, usually male, and have been in good health prior to their first episode. They are often athletic and tend to be of tall, thin physique. A group of 20 cases which falls into this latter category forms the basis of this study. They were all treated by wedge resection of apical lung disease. The clinical and histological findings are presented and the literature is briefly reviewed.
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