Published: 2016-10-22

A rare case of vanishing lung syndrome with pneumothorax: importance of computed tomography

Pradosh Kumar Sarangi, Sanjay Kumar Nahak, Sasmita Parida, Jayashree Mohanty


Vanishing lung syndrome (VLS), also known as giant bullous emphysema (GBE) is a distinct clinical syndrome usually affecting young male smokers characterised by large bullae that involve at least one-third of one or both hemithoraces. We are reporting one such case in a 40-year-old male patient, who was a chronic smoker for past 20 years. He was diagnosed having chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) on the basis of his history and chest X-ray findings 5 years back and treated symptomatically. He was never suspected of having VLS until a computed tomography of thorax done in our department revealed characteristic findings of VLS with pneumothorax and subcutaneous emphysema. Bullectomy, either via video thoracoscopy or conventional thoracotomy, is the treatment of choice. The patient is now in follow-up with pulmonary medicine department. This case exemplifies role of HRCT thorax in timely diagnosis and planning appropriate treatment of VLS.


Vanishing lung syndrome, Bulla, emphysema, Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery, Computed tomography

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