Tension pneumothorax

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tension pneumothorax

A variety of spontaneous pneumothorax in which air enters the pleural cavity and is trapped during expiration; intrathoracic pressure builds to values higher than atmospheric pressure, compresses the lung, and may displace the mediastinum and its structures toward the opposite side, with consequent disadvantageous effects on blood flow.

Synonym: pressure pneumothorax, valvular pneumothorax.