Pneumomediastinum from nasal insufflation of cocaine

Int J Emerg Med. 2010 Aug 21;3(4):435-7. doi: 10.1007/s12245-010-0205-9.


Chest pain is a common presenting symptom of cocaine users to the emergency department that requires a thorough work up. Pneumomediastinum is an uncommon complication of cocaine abuse that occurs more commonly when cocaine is smoked, but can also occur when cocaine is nasally insufflated. Our case report presents a patient with pneumomediastinum secondary to cocaine insufflation and reviews the necessary diagnostic tests that must be performed to rule out secondary pneumomediastinum, a severe life-threatening condition. Our case is unique, as it is one of a few reported cases of pneumomediastinum occurring after the use of intranasal cocaine.

Keywords: Cocaine; Nasal insufflation; Pneumomediastinum.