Pathologic aerophagia is a rare condition caused by excessive and inconvenient air swallowing. It is a self-limiting condition affecting mainly children exposed to high grades of stress but can be a persistent problem in children with psychiatric or neurological disorders.

Clinical presentation

  • severe persisting abdominal distention: minimal in the morning, maximal in the evening
  • abdominal pain
  • belching/burping
  • reduced appetite
  • audible air swallowing: pathognomonic of the disease
  • functional intestinal disorders: mainly constipation
  • respiratory restriction in cases of extreme abdominal distention

Radiographic features

Plain radiograph

Plain radiograph shows diffuse gastric, small bowel and colon distention without signs of obstruction.

Complications

  • volvulus
  • intestinal necrosis or perforation
  • death in severe cases

Article information

rID: 71338
Tag: cases, refs
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:

Support Radiopaedia and see fewer ads

Updating… Please wait.

 Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

 Thank you for updating your details.