An Uncommon Cause of Spontaneous Pneumomediastinum and Subcutaneous Emphysema

  • Michael Edwards Foundation Year 2 Doctor, Aintree University Hospital, Liverpool http://orcid.org/0000-0002-9743-8142
  • Arun Jeenahalli Ramappa Acute Medicine Consultant, Aintree University Hospital, Liverpool
Keywords: pneumomediastinum, subcutaneous emphysema, pneumonia

Abstract

A 79-year-old gentleman presented with spontaneous pneumomediastinum and subcutaneous emphysema with pneumonia but no pre-existing lung disease.
He presented with a 4-day history of increased shortness of breath, pleuritic chest pain, fevers, and non-productive cough. After 4 days of intravenous antibiotics, the patient developed considerable subcutaneous emphysema and pneumomediastinum.
Pneumomediastinum presents most commonly with chest pain, shortness of breath, and subcutaneous emphysema. It has previously been associated with cases of pneumonia but often with rare strains such as P. jirovecii pneumonia in immunocompromised patients. This case highlights spontaneous pneumomediastinum as a rare complication of pneumonia.
Treatment of pneumomediastinum is typically conservative, and although options may be limited, aggressive management of any causative factor may be essential in selected cases.

Author Biography

Michael Edwards, Foundation Year 2 Doctor, Aintree University Hospital, Liverpool
FY2, General Practice (as of 7/12/16)

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  • Published: 2017-05-26

    Issue: Vol 4 No 4 (view)

    Section: Articles

    How to cite:
    Edwards, M., & Ramappa, A. (2017). An Uncommon Cause of Spontaneous Pneumomediastinum and Subcutaneous Emphysema. European Journal of Case Reports in Internal Medicine, 4(4). https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.12890/2017_000549