Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

BackgroundThe optimal management for spontaneous pneumothorax (SP) remains contentious, with various proposed approaches. This joint clinical practice guideline from the ERS, EACTS and ESTS societies provides evidence-based recommendations for the management of SP.MethodsThis multidisciplinary Task Force addressed 12 key clinical questions on the management of pneumothorax, using ERS methodology for guideline development. Systematic searches were performed in MEDLINE and Embase. Evidence was synthesised by conducting meta-analyses, if possible, or narratively. Certainty of evidence was rated with GRADE (Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluations). The Evidence to Decision framework was used to decide on the direction and strength of the recommendations.ResultsThe panel makes a conditional recommendation for conservative care of minimally symptomatic patients with primary spontaneous pneumothorax (PSP) who are clinically stable. We make a strong recommendation for needle aspiration over chest tube drain for initial PSP treatment. We make a conditional recommendation for ambulatory management for initial PSP treatment. We make a conditional recommendation for early surgical intervention for the initial treatment of PSP in patients who prioritise recurrence prevention. The panel makes a conditional recommendation for autologous blood patch in secondary SP patients with persistent air leak (PAL). The panel could not make recommendations for other interventions, including bronchial valves, suction, pleurodesis in addition to surgical resection or type of surgical pleurodesis.ConclusionsWith this international guideline, the ERS, EACTS and ESTS societies provide clinical practice recommendations for SP management. We highlight evidence gaps for the management of PAL and recurrence prevention, with research recommendations made.

Original publication




Journal article


The European respiratory journal

Publication Date





Academic Respiratory Unit, Southmead Hospital, Bristol, UK


Humans, Pneumothorax, Recurrence, Pleurodesis, Chest Tubes, Evidence-Based Medicine, Adult, Societies, Medical, Europe