Pneumothorax and asthma

Konstantinos Porpodis, Paul Zarogoulidis, Dionysios Spyratos, Kalliopi Domvri, Ioannis Kioumis, Nikolaos Angelis, Maria Konoglou, Alexandros Kolettas, Georgios Kessisis, Thomas Beleveslis, Kosmas Tsakiridis, Nikolaos Katsikogiannis, Ioanna Kougioumtzi, Theodora Tsiouda, Michael Argyriou, Maria Kotsakou, Konstantinos Zarogoulidis

Abstract

This review is focused on the relationship between asthma, pneumothorax and pneumomediastinum while presenting a number of case reports that include these conditions. The association between pneumothorax and asthma is not widely known. While asthma includes a common disorder and is prevalent worldwide, its morbidity and mortality is high when is associated with pneumothorax. Furthermore, the delayed diagnosis of pneumothorax while focusing on asthma includes the higher risk of coincidental pneumothorax in asthmatic patients. In addition, pneumomediastinum is considered benign and self-limiting condition that responds to conservative therapy. Although it is rare, the concurrence of pneumomediastinum with pneumothorax may prove fatal during a serious asthma attack. In conclusion, the symptoms of chest pain, dyspnea or focal chest findings when presented in asthmatic patients, must always create suspicion of pneumothorax or pneumomediastinum to the physician.