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Images in thorax
Diagnosis of pneumothorax without exposure to ionising radiation
  1. Rosa Maria Ammendola,
  2. Giovanni Barchetti,
  3. Isabella Ceravolo,
  4. Andrea Fiorelli,
  5. Iacopo Carbone
  1. Department of Radiological Sciences, Pathology and Oncology, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy
  1. Correspondence to Dr Rosa Maria Ammendola, Department of Radiological Sciences, Pathology and Oncology Sapienza University of Rome, Istituto di Radiologia Centrale II piano, Policlinico Umberto I, Viale Regina Elena 324, Rome 00161, Italy; rosamaria.ammendola{at}

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A 14-year-old female patient affected by ataxia telangiectasia (AT) syndrome presented with mild dyspnoea and chest discomfort of a few days duration. After a short course of antibiotic therapy, which yielded no significant clinical improvement, a chest MRI was requested to evaluate possible acute or chronic pulmonary infections. The choice fell on MRI first because the patient’s conditions was not critical, and, second, to avoid further exposure to ionising radiations, as the patient had undergone a chest X-ray 2 weeks earlier for a similar episode.

The MRI study unexpectedly revealed a spontaneous right-sided pneumothorax of moderate size (figure 1). The pneumothorax was successfully treated with a chest tube and the patient recovered …

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