Last reviewed 01/2018

A hydropneumothorax is the condition where there is fluid and air in the pleural space.

Possible causes of this condition include:

  • iatrogenic causes e.g. air accidently introduced during the drainage of a pleural effusion
  • a break in the visceral pleura e.g. a ruptured lung abscess
  • a rare cause of a hydropneumothorax is an infection of the pleural space by gas-forming organisms such as Clostridium welchii

Chest radiography reveals a pneumothorax bounded below by the horizontal surface of the pleural fluid.