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Joel E. Gallant, M.D., M.P.H., Patrick R. Sosnay, M.D.
Pneumothorax is a topic covered in the Johns Hopkins HIV Guide.

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  • Pneumothorax (PTX) defined by air in pleural space, either due to entry from outside chest wall or leakage from lung parenchyma.
  • In HIV, occurs most often in setting of Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP). Spontaneous PTX in AIDS pt should prompt workup for PCP.
  • PCP-associated PTX independently associated with greater mortality.
  • Spontaneous PTX in pts with AIDS can also occur with TB, COPD, pulmonary cryptococcosis, coccidioidomycosis , and lymphoid interstitial pneumonitis.
  • Iatrogenic causes: central venous line placement, thoracentesis, bronchoscopy, liver Bx
  • Presenting Sx: pleuritic chest pain, dyspnea, cough
  • PE: Tachycardia, tachypnea, hypoxia, hyper-resonance or decreased breath sounds over one lung field. Some pts may not have any signs or Sx beyond those of pneumonia.
  • Higher incidence in males, cigarette smokers, pts on aerosolized pentamidine prophylaxis, pts w/ pneumatoceles on CXR, injection drug users, pts on mechanical ventilation.

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Last updated: September 3, 2015


Gallant, Joel E, and Patrick R Sosnay. "Pneumothorax." Johns Hopkins HIV Guide, 2015. Johns Hopkins Guide, www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_HIV_Guide/545166/all/Pneumothorax.
Gallant JE, Sosnay PR. Pneumothorax. Johns Hopkins HIV Guide. 2015. https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_HIV_Guide/545166/all/Pneumothorax. Accessed August 21, 2019.
Gallant, J. E., & Sosnay, P. R. (2015). Pneumothorax. In Johns Hopkins HIV Guide. Available from https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_HIV_Guide/545166/all/Pneumothorax
Gallant JE, Sosnay PR. Pneumothorax [Internet]. In: Johns Hopkins HIV Guide. ; 2015. [cited 2019 August 21]. Available from: https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_HIV_Guide/545166/all/Pneumothorax.
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TY - ELEC T1 - Pneumothorax ID - 545166 A1 - Gallant,Joel,M.D., M.P.H. AU - Sosnay,Patrick,M.D. Y1 - 2015/09/03/ BT - Johns Hopkins HIV Guide UR - https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_HIV_Guide/545166/all/Pneumothorax DB - Johns Hopkins Guide DP - Unbound Medicine ER -