A Unique Presentation of Spontaneous Pneumomediastinum Following COVID-19 Infection

Cureus. 2022 Apr 28;14(4):e24565. doi: 10.7759/cureus.24565. eCollection 2022 Apr.

Abstract

Pneumomediastinum is a rare, life-threatening condition in which air leaks into the mediastinum. Usually, it results from a traumatic event that leads to the escape of air from the airway, lungs, or bowel into the chest cavity. Patients with underlying lung pathology or a history of invasive mechanical ventilation have an increased risk of developing a pneumomediastinum. A spontaneous pneumomediastinum (SPM) occurs in the absence of these risk factors. Patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pneumonia tend to have a higher risk of developing an SPM, however, this is usually linked to mechanical ventilator use. Although rare, cases of healthy young patients with no history of underlying lung pathology or mechanical ventilator use developing an SPM are increasingly being reported. In efforts to bring more attention to this complication, we present the case of an SPM in a 40-year-old female patient with COVID-19 pneumonia and highlight the importance of close follow-up.

Keywords: covid 19; follow-up appointment; pneumothorax (ptx); spontaneous pneumomediastinum (spm); subcutaneous emphysema.

Publication types

  • Case Reports