ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Pneumothorax. Coloured frontal 3D computed tomography (CT) scan of the lungs of a patient with a pneumothorax, or collapsed lung. The line down left shows where the right lung has collapsed to leave a dark, air-filled space by the right shoulder. A pneumothorax occurs due to trauma or lung rupture. It causes shortness of breath and pain on breathing. A pneumothorax can be treated by inserting a tube into the air-filled space and draining the air over a period of days. This allows the collapsed lung to re-inflate. The structures seen inside the chest cavity are the trachea (windpipe), running from the throat (top centre) down to centre, where it splits into the two bronchi, one for each lung (green spaces at left and right).
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