Spontaneous pneumothorax is a potentially fatal complication of bronchial asthma, the diagnosis of which may not be obvious. In a recent review of the world literature on this subject Maccone1 collected 27 cases. Piaggio Blanco and Garcia Capurro2 suggested that the ease with which this condition may be missed accounts for its apparent rarity. Although most authors have failed to mention bronchial asthma as a precursor of spontaneous pneumothorax, the casual manner in which others3 have mentioned it does not indicate extreme rarity. Questioning of physicians has revealed several who have observed one or more unreported cases.
Spontaneous pneumothorax occurs as a complication of bronchial asthma chiefly in young persons, of both sexes. The average age of the patients whose cases were collected by Castex and Mazzei4 was 32 years, and they did not include the children of 1¼ and 25 and 46 years of age whose cases were