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A randomised controlled trial of interventional versus conservative treatment of primary spontaneous pneumothorax: How does conservative and interventional management of collapsed lung compare?

Quick facts

Principal investigator:
Prof Gerben Keijzers.
Team members:
Prof Simon Brown, Dr Kyle Perrin, Prof Richard Beasley, Prof Diani Egerton Warburton, Dr Fran Kinnear, and Dr Jeremy Furyk.
Project commenced:

Primary spontaneous pneumothorax (PSP) is a collapsed lung with air in the pleural cavity that occurs without a clinically apparent underlying lung disease. Over time this condition has been treated more often with interventional approaches such as a chest drain. The reasons for this are unclear and this approach has recently been questioned in scientific literature.

The research was a multi-site randomised trial of more than 300 patients in over 25 hospitals in Australia and New Zealand, which compared intervention with observation alone.

The study results will largely impact on current medical practice and international consensus guidelines. It will also be of large economic interest for admissions and associated procedures.

Read more about the project.


“To challenge this dogma of putting a drain in anybody with a certain size pneumothorax will make clinicians think critically and consider doing nothing when safe. Such an approach may reduce harm, save resources and be more acceptable to both staff and patients.”

—Prof Gerben Keijzers

Grants Awarded

National Health and Medical Research Council

Emergency Medicine Foundation

Last updated 20 Jun 2019