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Case reports

Print version ISSN 2462-8522

Abstract

VELASQUEZ GAVIRIA, Laura Marcela et al. SPONTANEOUS PNEUMOMEDIASTINUM. CASE REPORT. Case reports [online]. 2017, vol.3, n.2, pp.91-97. ISSN 2462-8522.  http://dx.doi.org/10.15446/cr.v3n2.60485.

Introduction:

Spontaneous pneumomediastinum (SPM) is defined as the presence of air in the mediastinum. It is a rare entity considered benign and self-limiting, which mostly affects young adults. Its diagnosis is confirmed through clinical and radiological studies.

Case description:

21-year-old male patient with cough and greenish expectoration for four days, associated with dyspnea, chest pain, fever and bilateral supraclavicular subcutaneous emphysema. Chest X-ray suggested pneumomediastinum, which was confirmed by tomography. The patient was hospitalized for observation and treatment. After a positive evolution, he was discharged on the sixth day.

Discussion:

SPM is a differential diagnosis in patients with chest pain and dyspnea. Its prevalence is lower than 0.01% and its mortality rate is low. It should be suspected in patients with chest pain and subcutaneous emphysema on physical examination. Between 70 and 90% of the cases can be identified by chest X-ray, while confirmation can be obtained through chest tomography. In most cases it does not require additional studies.

Conclusion:

SPM is a little known cause of acute chest pain, and rarely considered as a differential diagnosis; it is self-limited and has a good prognosis.

Keywords : Mediastinal Emphysema; Subcutaneous Emphysema.

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