Spontaneous pneumomediastinum

Case contributed by Dr Maciej Mazgaj


Patient showed up on ER with coughing and dyspnoea after being exposed to dust.

Patient Data

Age: 20
Gender: Male
Modality: X-ray

Patient had chest X-ray study with suspicion of spasm bronchitis.Examination revealed lucencies along the left heart border and aortic arch, some lucencies along vasculo-bronchial tree as well as lucencies in right supraclavicular fossa, reflecting sternomastoid muscle fibers. There is also limited subcutaneous emphysema in right supraclavisular fossa.

Modality: CT

As the history was not typical for pneumomediastinum non enhanced CT was performed to make the diagnosis.

There is free air in the mediastinum, pleural cavities, along broncho-vascular tree, and in subcutaneous tissue of the neck and right shoulder.

Case Discussion

Patient presented with symptoms suggesting for respiratory system dysfunction, with dyspnoea and chest pain. X ray suggestive for pneumomediastinum was asked to be confirmed as the history was not typical for this condition. CT clearly showed air in mediastinum, pleural cavities and subcutaneous location.

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Case Information

rID: 30376
Case created: 5th Aug 2014
Last edited: 22nd Jan 2016
System: Chest
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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