Subcutaneous emphysema

Case contributed by Dr Liam Pugh


Post right lung resection. Post removal of right intercostal catheter.

Patient Data

Age: 70 years
Gender: Female

CXR showing marked subcutaneous emphysema extending bilaterally. 

A pneumothorax is also present on the right. The lung edge is obscured by both the soft tissue outlined by the subcutaneous emphysema and by a rib. 

Case Discussion

This patient had a right lung resection. The CXR is post removal of a right sided post operative intercostal catheter. There was obvious clinical subcutaneous emphysema but otherwise the patient was well. 

In this case, the presence of air outlining the fibers of the pectoralis major muscle (so called ginkgo leaf sign) obscures the lung edge making the pneumothorax more difficult to appreciate.

PlayAdd to Share

Case information

rID: 68896
Published: 20th Jun 2019
Last edited: 14th Aug 2019
System: Chest
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

Updating… Please wait.

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

 Thank you for updating your details.