Semin intervent Radiol 2009; 26(1): 082-085
DOI: 10.1055/s-0029-1208386

© Thieme Medical Publishers

“Ex Vacuo” Pneumothorax

William Staes1 , Brian Funaki2
  • 1University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
  • 2Section of Vascular and Interventional Radiology, University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
16 March 2009 (online)

Ex vacuo pneumothorax is a form of pneumothorax that occurs after pleural intervention, such as thoracentesis when the lung is unable to expand to fully fill the pleural space. Unlike other iatrogenic pneumothoraces, it may not respond to pleural drainage and is not caused by puncture of the visceral pleura and underlying lung.


  • 1 Chang Y C, Patz Jr E F, Goodman P C. Pneumothorax after small bore catheter placement for malignant pleural effusion.  AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1996;  166 1049-1051
  • 2 Boland G W, Gazelle G S, Girard M J et al.. Asymptomatic hydropneumothorax after therapeutic thoracentesis for malignant pleural effusions.  AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1998;  170 943-946
  • 3 Ponrartana S, Laberge J M, Kerlan R K, Wilson M W, Gordon R L. Management of patients with “ex-vacuo” pneumothorax after thoracentesis.  Acad Radiol. 2005;  12 980-986
  • 4 Pien G W, Grant M J, Washam C L et al.. Use of an implantable pleural catheter for trapped lung syndrome in patients with malignant pleural effusions.  Chest. 2001;  119 1641-1646
  • 5 LaBerge J M, Kerlan R K, Ponrartrana S. Large asymptomatic hydropneumothorax after thoracentesis.  J Vasc Interv Radiol. 2004;  15 1047-1049

Brian FunakiM.D. 

Section of Vascular and Interventional Radiology, University of Chicago Medical Center

5840 S. Maryland Avenue, MC 2026, Chicago, IL 60637