A 62 year old man presented with abdominal ascites, without pleural effusion, due to peritoneal mesothelioma. He had chronic obstructive airways disease and a past history of right upper lobectomy for tuberculosis. On two occasions abdominal paracentesis was followed within 72 hours by pneumothorax. This previously unreported complication of abdominal paracentesis may be due to increased diaphragmatic excursion following the procedure and should be considered in patients with preexisting lung disease.
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