Continuous diaphragm sign
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The continuous diaphragm sign is a chest radiograph sign of pneumomediastinum or pneumopericardium if lucency is above the diaphragm, or of pneumoperitoneum if lucency is below the diaphragm.
Normally the central portion of the diaphragm is not discretely visualized on chest radiographs as it merges with the cardiac silhouette. If the diaphragm can be seen continuously across the midline then this is highly suggestive of free gas within the mediastinum, pericardium or peritoneal cavity 1,3.
It should not be confused with the double diaphragm sign in pneumothorax.
- 1. Schmitt ER, Burg MD. Continuous diaphragm sign. West J Emerg Med. 2011;12 (4): 526-7. doi:10.5811/westjem.2011.4.2283 - Free text at pubmed - Pubmed citation
- 2. Bejvan SM, Godwin JD. Pneumomediastinum: old signs and new signs. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1996;166 (5): 1041-8. AJR Am J Roentgenol (abstract) - Pubmed citation
- 3. Christopher M. Zylak, James R. Standen, George R. Barnes, Carl J. Zylak. Pneumomediastinum Revisited1. (2000) RadioGraphics. 20 (4): 1043-57. doi:10.1148/radiographics.20.4.g00jl131043 - Pubmed