Control chest x-ray in patients with asymptomatic posttraumatic pneumothorax

Julieta Correa-Restrepo, Mónica Restrepo-Moreno, Luis Guillermo Peláez, Rafael Díaz-Cadavid, Yuliana López-Vasco, María Alejandra Rojas, David Alejandro Mejía-Toro, Carlos Hernando Morales-Uribe

Article ID: 1734
Vol 4, Issue 1, 2021, Article identifier:37-44

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Introduction: Chest trauma has a high incidence and pneumothorax is the most frequent finding. The literature is scarce on what to do with asymptomatic patients with pneumothorax due to penetrating chest trauma. The aim of this study was to evaluate what are the findings of the control radiography of patients with penetrating chest trauma who are not initially taken to surgery, and their usefulness in determining the need for further treatment. Methods: A retrospective cohort study was performed, including patients older than 15 years who were admitted for penetrating chest trauma between January 2015 and December 2017 and who did not require initial surgical management. We analyzed the results of chest radiography, the time of its acquisition, and the behavior decided according to the findings in patients initially left under observation. Results: A total of 1,554 patients were included, whose average age was 30 years, 92.5% were male and 97% had a sharp weapon wound. Of these, 186 (51.5%) had no alterations in their initial X-ray, 142 had pneumothorax less than 30% and 33 had pneumothorax greater than 30 %, hemopneumothorax or hemothorax. Closed thoracostomy was required as the final procedure in 78 cases, sternotomy or thoracotomy in 2 cases and discharged in 281. Conclusion: In asymptomatic patients with small or moderate pneumothorax and no other significant lesions, longer observation times, radiographs and closed thoracostomy may be unnecessary.


Thoracic Trauma; Pneumothorax; Diagnosis; Imaging; Thoracic Radiography; Conservative Treatment

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