Author(s): Papafragaki D, Concannon L
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Abstract A 39-year-old woman presented with the chief complaint of right-sided chest pressure and shortness of breath with dry cough for 3 days. These symptoms coincided with the onset of her menstrual cycle. Her physical examination was significant for decreased breath sounds at the right lung base. Her chest x-ray showed a moderate sized right pneumothorax extending from the apex to the lung base and a small amount of pleural fluid, findings that were verified by chest CT. The patient was seen by consultants from the pulmonary, obstetrics/gynecology, and thoracic surgery services, who agreed that the clinical diagnosis was catamenial pneumothorax, probably associated with thoracic endometriosis. The patient was discharged on levonorgestrel/ethinyl estradiol tablets, which she opted not to take. Three months later, she had similar symptoms that occurred again at the time of menstruation. Her chest x-ray now showed a 10\% right-sided pneumothorax. Catamenial pneumothorax is a rare condition affecting women in their reproductive years. Women with this condition most commonly have right-sided pneumothorax. The proper diagnosis is based on being aware of the existence of this relatively rare condition and relating the symptoms of pneumothorax temporally to the menses.
This article was published in J Womens Health (Larchmt)
and referenced in Emergency Medicine: Open Access