INTRODUCTION: Spontaneous pneumothorax occurs rarely during pregnancy with less than 100 cases reported in the English literature. There is no strong evidence concerning the treatment of spontaneous pneumothorax during pregnancy and labor. The aim of this study is to systematically review all the reported cases and to suggest recommendations for its diagnosis and treatment. METHODS: A PubMed research was conducted. The following data were collected: maternal age, gestation age (weeks), presence of underlying lung pathology, initial management, definitive management, obstetric outcome, and the complications for the mother and the fetus. RESULTS: Eighty-seven cases were identified. The mean maternal age was 27 years (standard deviation [SD] ± 6). The mean gestational age was 25 weeks (SD ± 11.4). In 37.9% of cases, there was no underlying lung disease. In the majority of cases (67.4%), the initial treatment was the placement of a chest tube. In 48% of cases, the pneumothorax was resolved with conservative treatment. Surgical therapy was performed either antepartum or postpartum. In 58.6% of cases, there was a vaginal delivery, spontaneous or instrumental. In three cases (3.4%), there were fetal complications. CONCLUSION: The analysis of the current literature provides low evidence, since there are only case reports and small case series. It is likely that the frequency of this condition is underestimated. However, this analysis permits to draw some conclusions concerning the timing of pneumothorax treatment, the operative strategy, and the mode of delivery to decrease the risk for the mother and the fetus.
Thorac Cardiovasc Surg (The Thoracic and cardiovascular surgeon)
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