Pneumothorax in the newborn: Clinical presentation, risk factors and outcomes

Hany Aly, An Massaro, Ceyda Acun, Maide Ozen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Objective: We aimed to compare clinical presentation and risk factors associated with the development of pneumothorax among newborns of different birth weight (BW) categories. Methods: We collected clinical and respiratory data on all newborns diagnosed with pneumothorax over a 10-year period. Infants were classified into two groups with BW 2500 g and <2500 g. Results: From 13 811 infants, we identified 77 with pneumothorax (BW 2500 g in 33 and BW <2500 g in 44 infants). The prevalence of pneumothorax in the two BW categories was 0.27% and 2.5%, respectively. Infants with BW ≥2500 g were diagnosed with neumothorax at a median age of 5.5 h, and mostly (70%) did not require intubation. Infants with BW <2500 g were diagnosed with pneumothorax at a median age of 34 h, presenting with hypercarbia and increased requirement for supplemental oxygen. The majority of these infants (89%) received mechanical ventilation after pneumothorax. When compared to matched controls, there was a lower proportion of African-American infants in the pneumothorax group (48% versus 73%, p = 0.029) and a higher rate of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (30% versus 7%, p = 0.004). Conclusions: Onset, presentation and management of pneumothorax varied according to BW. Preterm infants with pneumothorax are at increased risk for developing bronchopulmonary dysplasia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)402-406
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 2014


  • Air leak
  • BPD
  • CPAP
  • Preterm infants
  • Respiratory distress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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