Subcutaneous emphysema

Case contributed by Dr M Sanal Kumar


Breathing difficulty following blunt trauma to the chest.

Patient Data

Age: 74
Gender: Female

Patient presented with breathing difficulty following trauma. Chest tubes where inserted following which she developed diffuse subcutaneous emphysema.

Case Discussion

The mechanism of development of subcutaneous emphysema or pneumomediastinum is attributed to MACKLIN effect.

Macklin effect-

  • Alveolar rupture
  • Air dissection along bronchovascular structures
  • Spreading of pulmonary interstitial emphysema to other planes.
PlayAdd to Share

Case information

rID: 36739
Case created: 8th May 2015
Last edited: 29th Nov 2016
System: Chest
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included