Epidemiology of spontaneous pneumothorax (TMC Experience)

Short communication


Jumma A Madi¹, Hasan A Maghur², Hosnia G Sudani¹ and Burnia A Dakhil¹

1-Department of Medicine, Respiratory Unit 2-Department of Cardiac Surgery, Tripoli Medical Centre, Tripoli, Libya

JMJ Vol. 7, No. 2 (Summer 2007):148-150


Background: Spontaneous pneumothorax (SP) is one of the common medical problems presenting to the casualty department. This condition is not rare worldwide; the epidemiology of SP is a major concern to all physicians in particular to respiratory physician and thoracic surgeon. Very limited information is available on epidemiology of SP in Libya. The present study was aimed at studying this medical problem among Libyan populations. Patients and Methods: This prospective study was carried out in Medical Respiratory Unit at TMC to investigate the epidemiology of PSP where a series of 115 Libyan patients with SP was admitted consecutively over a four year period (1st July 2000 – end June 2004). The diagnosis of SP was made on clinical and radiological bases. In this paper we looked into various possible risk factors and the distribution of pneumothorax in Libyan patients according to aetiology, age, gender, smoking habit, height, body weight and the hemithorax affected. Results: Primary spontaneous pneumothorax (PSP) was found in 100 (87%) patients and secondary spontaneous pneumothorax (SSP) was found in 15 (13%) patients (Bronchial asthma, chronic obstructive diseases, postpneumonia, tuberculosis, Marfan’s syndrome).The ratio between PSP to SPP is 10:1.5, Male gender was seen in 98 patients out of 100 patients (98%). The most affected age group of PSP Patients was 18-30 years where 64 (64%) patients affected, very high incidence was seen in smokers 87 (87%). Forty eight (48%) of PSP patient were seen in tall patients (>175-184 cm) and 64 (64%) patients showed a height of 2 inches ( 5 cm )above the mean height (173 cm). Within 100 patients of PSP, fifty one (51%) patients showed BMI 15-19, and 45 patients showed BMI >19-25, and 4 (4%) patients showed BMI >25-30. Sixty (60%) patients showed body weight lower than the mean body weight (60.4 kg) and 43 (43%) of PSP patients showed a body weight of 25 pounds (11 kg) lower than their predicted body weight. There was no significant difference regarding the affected side of hemithorax 53 % in right hemithorax and 47% in left hemithorax. Conclusion: This study showed that PSP is much more common than SSP in admitted patients. Male gender is predominant risk factor for PSP which was seen in 98% of admitted patients. 78 percent of PSP patients were active smokers. The most affected age group of PSP was 18-30 years old where 64% were affected. Tall stature (>175-184 cm) were seen in 63% of admitted patients with PSP.

Keywords: Pneumothorax, Spontaneous, Epidemiology, Primary, Secondary

Link/DOI: http://www.jmj.org.ly/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1398