ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Collapsed lung. Coloured computed tomography (CT) scan through a patient's chest. The front of the body is at top. A pneumothorax, a large pocket of air (black, centre right to lower right), has expanded the pleural cavity and compressed the patient's left lung (green). The right lung (left) is not compressed, because the pleural cavity has its normal shape of a thin space between the lungs and the chest wall. The heart (orange, centre) is between the lungs. Fluid (orange, lower right) has gathered in the pneumothorax, a complication named a hydropneumothorax. A splashing sound is heard if the patient is shaken. Surgical insertion of a chest tube is needed to drain the air and fluid.
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