• Vol. 37 No. 3, 234–235
  • 15 March 2008

Pathological Pulmonary Hernia in a Patient With Metastatic Breast Cancer

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ABSTRACT

Introduction: Pathological pulmonary hernia is a rare clinical entity which can be caused by malignancies.

Clinical Picture: A 72-year-old female presented with a painful bulge in the left 4th intercostal space. Chest radiography and computed tomography demonstrated a left pulmonary hernia, pleural effusion and destruction of ribs.

Treatment: The hernia sac was excised and a part of the chest wall was resected with reconstruction of residual defect.

Outcome: The patient died 2 years after the treatment.

Conclusions: A multidisciplinary approach involving various medical specialists may offer patients with pathological pulmonary hernia remarkable palliation and better quality of life.


Pulmonary hernia is a rare and uncommon clinical entity that has been defined as a protrusion of pleural membranes or lung parenchyma through the defect in the thoracic enclosure. According to aetiology, pulmonary hernias can be congenital (due to rib or intercostal hypoplasia or agenesis) or acquired (traumatic, pathological or spontaneous).

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