Incidence of Pneumothorax in Patients With Lymphangioleiomyomatosis Undergoing Pulmonary Function and Exercise Testing

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Abstract

Because pneumothorax is frequent in lymphangioleiomyomatosis, patients have expressed concerns regarding the risk of pneumothorax associated with pulmonary function or exercise testing. Indeed, pneumothorax has been reported in patients with lung disease after both of these tests. The aim of this study was to determine the incidence of pneumothorax in patients with lymphangioleiomyomatosis during admissions to the National Institutes of Health Clinical Research Center between 1995 and 2015. Medical records were reviewed to identify patients who had a pneumothorax during their stay at the National Institutes of Health. A total of 691 patients underwent 4,523 pulmonary function tests and 1,900 exercise tests. Three patients developed pneumothorax after pulmonary function tests and/or exercise tests. The incidence of pneumothorax associated with lung function testing was 0.14 to 0.29 of 100 patients or 0.02 to 0.04 of 100 tests. The incidence of pneumothorax in patients undergoing exercise testing was 0.14 to 0.28 of 100 patients or 0.05 to 0.10 of 100 tests. The risk of pneumothorax associated with pulmonary function or exercise testing in patients with lymphangioleiomyomatosis is low.

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