Review Article

Pneumothorax in cystic fibrosis

Ioannis P. Kioumis, Konstantinos Zarogoulidis, Haidong Huang, Qiang Li, Georgios Dryllis, Georgia Pitsiou, Nikolaos Machairiotis, Nikolaos Katsikogiannis, Antonis Papaiwannou, Sofia Lampaki, Konstantinos Porpodis, Bojan Zaric, Perin Branislav, Ioannis Mpoukovinas, George Lazaridis, Paul Zarogoulidis


Pneumothorax is recognized as a common and life-threatening complication in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients, especially in those who are infected with P. aeruginosa, B. cepacia or Aspergillus, need enteral feeding, are diagnosed as suffering from allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA), developed massive hemoptysis, and their respiratory function is seriously compromised. Structural impairment and altered airflow dynamics in the lungs of CF patients are considered as the main predisposing factors, but also inhaled medications and non-invasive positive pressure ventilation (NIPPV) could increase the risk of pneumothorax. Clinical presentation could range from dramatic to very mild. Management of spontaneous pneumothorax occurring to patients with CF is essentially similar to that for non-CF patients. Therapeutic options include intercostal tube drainage, video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS), and medical or surgical pleurodesis. Pneumothorax increases both short- and long-term morbidity and mortality in CF patients and causes significant deterioration of their quality of life.

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