Pneumomediastinum and subcutaneous emphysema

Case contributed by Dr Bruno Di Muzio


Traumatic complication after tracheal intubation.

Patient Data

Age: 82
Gender: Male

Amounts of air appear as linear lucencies outlining mediastinal and chest/cervical soft tissue contours.

Case Discussion

Subcutaneous emphysema, strictly speaking, refers to air in the subcutaneous tissues. But the term is generally used to describe any soft tissue emphysema of the body wall or limbs, since the air often dissects into the deeper soft tissue and musculature along fascial planes.

Pneumomediastinum is the presence of extraluminal gas within the mediastinum. Gas may come from lungs, trachea, central bronchi, oesophagus, and the neck or abdomen.

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Case information

rID: 17203
Published: 26th Mar 2012
Last edited: 23rd Apr 2016
System: Chest
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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