CONFLICTING viewpoints are held concerning the management of spontaneous pneumothorax. At the Ohio State University Hospital members of the medical service advocated conservative care consisting mainly of bed rest, while members of the thoracic surgery service preferred surgical intervention. In order to arrive at a definite conclusion as to the best method of treatment of this disease, records of patients with spontaneous pneumothorax admitted to the hospital over the last 10-year period were reviewed. Only 20 cases were found in the records of the Ohio State University Hospital during the 10-year period of 1942 to 1952. These were supplemented by an additional 16 cases for the three-year period 1949 to 1952 from the records of Hurley Hospital, Flint, Mich. Case studies were consecutive and unselected.
In order to establish a satisfactory definition of spontaneous pneumothorax it was necessary first to review the cases "automatically" included under this diagnosis