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31.07.2017 | review article | Ausgabe 19-20/2017

Wiener klinische Wochenschrift 19-20/2017

Catamenial pneumothorax since introduction of video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery

A systematic review

Wiener klinische Wochenschrift > Ausgabe 19-20/2017
MD Katja Bricelj, MD Matevž Srpčič, MD Anej Ražem, MD Žiga Snoj
Wichtige Hinweise
Contribution to authorship All authors participated in the making of this study; all contributed to the conception and design of the study, acquired, analyzed and interpreted data. All participated in the drafting and approved the final version of the study. Furthermore, all agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work.



Catamenial pneumothorax is an uncommon form of spontaneous pneumothorax in women. The exact epidemiology and pathogenesis remain elusive. Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery is used for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.


The aim of this review was to analyze the demographic features, intraoperative findings, treatment methods and outcome in catamenial pneumothorax patients. In addition, we assessed the relationship between catamenial pneumothorax and pelvic endometriosis.

Search strategy

A PubMed search of medical literature, published from January 1993 (video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery first described in literature) to January 2015, using the keywords “catamenial pneumothorax” was performed. Our study complied with the preferred reporting of items for systematic reviews and meta-analysis principles. A total of 182 patients were included in the analysis, including 4 patients treated at our institution.

Selection criteria

The inclusion criteria of were recurrent (at least two) episodes of spontaneous pneumothorax in relation to onset of menses.

Data selection and analysis

Age at time of diagnosis, side affected, diagnosis of pulmonary endometriosis, intraoperative findings, histological confirmation of thoracic endometriosis, methods of treatment and outcome were recorded.

Main results

In 2.9% of the patients no pathological lesions were found; however, 59.3% had endometrial implants and 57.0% diaphragmatic perforations. Pelvic endometriosis was reported in 39.5% patients. Patients with diagnosed pelvic endometriosis showed a significantly higher rate of endometrial implants and histologically confirmed endometriosis lesions than patients without pelvic endometriosis. In 26.9% of patients, recurrence was observed after treatment.


Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery provides good diagnostic and therapeutic results; however, 25% of patients experienced recurrence despite adequate treatment. A strong association exists between thoracic and pelvic endometriosis in catamenial pneumothorax patients.

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