Spontaneous pneumomediastinum

Case contributed by Dr Francis Fortin


Shortness of breath following a bout of coughing.

Patient Data

Age: 16 years
Gender: Male

Mild pneumomediastinum with air outlining the left mediastinal border, azygoesophageal recess and tracking up into the superior paratracheal space.

Annotated image

Annotated images

The findings in this case of pneumomediastinum are outlined for easier comprehension.

Case Discussion

Spontaneous pneumomediastinum is known to occur mainly in adolescent and young adult males. By definition, there is no history of recent trauma. Patients are often asthmatic and may present after an episode of vigorous coughing or exercice.

This patient was treated conservatively without any complication after a barium swallow demonstrated no esophageal leak.

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Case information

rID: 60289
Published: 16th May 2018
Last edited: 14th Aug 2019
System: Chest
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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