Collapsed lung (pneumothorax)

Air around the lung; Air outside the lung; Pneumothorax dropped lung; Spontaneous pneumothorax

A collapsed lung occurs when air escapes from the lung. The air then fills the space outside of the lung, between the lung and chest wall. This buildup of air puts pressure on the lung, so it cannot expand as much as it normally does when you take a breath.

The medical name of this condition is pneumothorax.

Lungs

The major features of the lungs include the bronchi, the bronchioles and the alveoli. The alveoli are the microscopic blood vessel-lined sacks in which oxygen and carbon dioxide gas are exchanged.

Aortic rupture, chest X-ray

Aortic rupture (a tear in the aorta, which is the major artery coming from the heart) can be seen on a chest X-ray. In this case, it was caused by a traumatic perforation of the thoracic aorta. This is how the X-ray appears when the chest is full of blood (right-sided hemothorax) seen here as cloudiness on the left side of the picture.

Pneumothorax - chest X-ray

Pneumothorax occurs when air leaks from inside of the lung to the space between the lung and the chest wall. The lung then collapses. The dark side of the chest (right side of the picture) is filled with air that is outside of the lung tissue.

Respiratory system

Air is breathed in through the nasal passageways, travels through the trachea and bronchi to the lungs.

Chest tube insertion - series

The pleural cavity is the space between the layers of the membrane lining the lung (pleura) and the chest cavity.

Pneumothorax - series

The lungs are paired organs that lie in the thoracic cavity. The lungs extract oxygen from inhaled air and transport the oxygen to the blood. Surrounding the lungs is a very thin space called the pleural space. The pleural space is usually extremely thin, and filled with a small amount of fluid.

Causes

Symptoms

Exams and Tests

Treatment

Outlook (Prognosis)

Possible Complications

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Prevention