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Recurrent spontaneous pneumothorax during pregnancy: a case report

Preeti Jain* and Kavita Goswami

Author Affiliations

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, Coventry, CV2 2DX, UK

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Journal of Medical Case Reports 2009, 3:81  doi:10.1186/1752-1947-3-81

Published: 21 October 2009



Spontaneous recurrent pneumothorax during pregnancy is a rare condition. Few cases have been reported previously in the literature. There is no universal guideline for the management of this condition. Treatment options include conservative management with intercostal drain and surgical management in the form of thoracotomy or video-assisted thoracoscopy.

Case presentation

We report a case of recurrent spontaneous pneumothorax in a 38-year-old Afro-Caribbean woman on her third trimester of pregnancy. The disease was managed with the insertion of an intercostal drain on three occasions, which was then followed by surgical intervention immediately after pregnancy.


The diagnosis of pneumothorax should be considered in the differential diagnosis of pregnant women experiencing chest pain and dyspnoea. No adverse maternal or foetal outcome has been reported in well-managed cases. Management involves good coordination between the obstetric and surgical teams.