Nine cases of catamenial pneumothorax: a report of a singlecenter experience

Chihiro Furuta, Motoki Yano, Hiroki Numanami, Masayuki Yamaji, Rumiko Taguchi, Masayuki Haniuda


Background: Catamenial pneumothorax (CP) is defined as repeated pneumothorax related to menses and thoracic endometriosis. We performed a retrospective analysis of nine patients with CP to determine the clinical features as well as the effects of treatment and recurrence rates.
Methods: A retrospective review was conducted of the clinical and pathologic data in all CP patients undergoing treatment at our institution. Nine patients underwent treatment for CP. Of these, six underwent surgical treatment 8 times.
Results: The median age was 36 years. Six patients had experienced delivery. The laterality of the pneumothorax was right in all patients. Pelvic endometriosis was diagnosed in five patients. Six patients underwent surgical treatment. Partial resection of the lung was performed in four patients and partial resection of the diaphragm in five. Of these, both resections were performed in four patients. A pathological diagnosis of endometriosis was achieved in only three patients. The observation period was 16.7 months. In the six patients with surgical resection, five experienced recurrence at various intervals. Onset of pneumothorax occurred pre- or menstrual period in most cases.
Conclusions: The diagnosis and treatment of CP is not easy. A multidisciplinary approach and skillful management are required. Recurrence of CP is common following a temporary cure of pneumothorax by surgical treatment.