Two case reports of pneumomediastinum

Ir J Med Sci. 2007 Sep;176(3):239-41. doi: 10.1007/s11845-007-0069-z. Epub 2007 Aug 17.


Background: We present two cases of pneumomediastinum in patients who presented to the accident and emergency department of a large teaching hospital. One case had a history of inhalational drug abuse, which may have contributed to the event, while the other had no obvious precipitating factors.

Aims: To evaluate the presenting symptoms, physical signs, diagnosis and management of pneumomediastinum with a review of the literature.

Methods: We describe two cases of pneumomediastinum with a literature review.

Conclusions: Pneumomediastinum is an uncommon entity, first described almost 400 years ago. It presents with relatively non-specific symptoms and signs and will require radiological investigations to clarify the diagnosis. Treatment is conservative but will require close observation for the development of complications and occult visceral perforation. Complete resolution can be expected.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mediastinal Emphysema / diagnosis*
  • Mediastinal Emphysema / epidemiology
  • Mediastinal Emphysema / therapy*
  • Risk Factors