THE occurrence of a cavity in the lung during the course of pneumonia in children is a frequent roentgenologic finding. The cavity has a sharply defined thin border and, in a large number of cases, an air-fluid level. These cavities are variously called pneumatoceles, emphysematous bullae or benign cavities. The term "pneumatocele" is preferred by us and will be used in this article. Its derivation indicates a gas-filled tumor or sac.
It is important that the pediatrician and general practitioner be aware of the frequent occurrence of pneumatocele in pneumonia, as it may be confused with a pulmonary abscess or with a congenital pulmonary cyst. If the lesion is recognized as a pneumatocele no treatment is needed and an excellent prognosis can be given.
The use of the term "pneumatocele" in this specific connection was introduced by Zarfl1 in 1933. He presented a case of a 7 month old