A 28-year-old man presents to the emergency department complaining of sudden onset of shortness of breath associated with sharp right-sided chest pain increased with breathing. On physical examination, respirations are 20 per minute and blood pressure is 120/76 mm Hg. Auscultation of the chest reveals absent breath sounds over the right apex with normal heart sounds. Percussion of the right apex is noted to be hyperresonant. Which of the following is the most likely diagnosis?
- Pulmonary embolus
- Foreign body aspiration
This patient most likely has a spontaneous pneumothorax which is supported by the presenting symptoms of sudden onset of dyspnea and pleuritic chest pain as well as the physical exam findings of absent breath sounds and hyperresonance to percussion.