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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


A Case of Spontaneous Pneumothorax 21 Days After Diagnosis of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pneumonia

Diagnostic / therapeutic accidents

Ashraf Abushahin, John Degliuomini, Wilbert S. Aronow, Thomas Newman

USA Department of Internal Medicine, New York Medical College (Metropolitan Hospital), New York City, NY, USA

Am J Case Rep 2020; 21:e925787

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.925787

Available online: 2020-08-05

Published: 2020-08-15


BACKGROUND: At the end of 2019, coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) was recognized as the cause of a cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, a city in China. There are numerous complications associated with COVID-19 infection, such as acute respiratory distress syndrome, renal failure, circulatory shock, and multi-organ failure. Spontaneous pneumothorax following COVID-19 pneumonia is an extremely rare complication.
CASE REPORT: We report the case of a 49-year-old man with a past medical history of type 2 diabetes mellitus with an initial presentation of cough, shortness of breath, and fever. He was diagnosed with COVID-19 pneumonia and rapidly deteriorated on the day of admission, requiring initiation of mechanical ventilation. The patient recovered clinically and was discharged home. He returned 21 days after discharge with a spontaneous pneumothorax.
CONCLUSIONS: Spontaneous pneumothorax is a rare complication after apparent recovery from COVID-19 pneumonia. It is imperative that treating physicians are aware of this complication in order to recognize it early and treat it promptly.

Keywords: Pneumothorax, SARS Virus, Pandemics