0
Clinical Investigations: PLEURAL DISEASE |

Spontaneous Pneumomediastinum*: A Benign Curiosity or a Significant Problem?

Andrew E. Newcomb, MBBS; C. Peter Clarke, MBBS
Author and Funding Information

*From the Austin Hospital, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.

Correspondence to: Andrew Newcomb, MBBS, Thoracic Surgery Unit, Austin Hospital, Studley Rd, Heidelberg 3084, Melbourne, VIC, Australia; e-mail: anewcomb@amavic.com



Chest. 2005;128(5):3298-3302. doi:10.1378/chest.128.5.3298
Text Size: A A A
Published online

Objective: To identify the significance of spontaneous pneumomediastinum (SPM) and to optimize its management.

Methods: A retrospective analysis was undertaken of all patients presenting with SPM over a 5-year period. Eighteen patients were identified, and information on their presentations, initial diagnoses, comorbidities, investigations, clinical courses, length of hospital stays, and outcomes were collated.

Setting: The emergency department referrals of two major Melbourne teaching hospitals.

Results: SPM is an uncommon condition presenting in approximately 1 in 30,000 emergency department referrals. The typical patient identified from this study is a young man who is likely to have a history of asthma, and who is also likely to smoke or to use illicit drugs. The most common presentation is nonspecific pleuritic chest pain with dyspnea. Complications are rare, and the clinical course benign, but the possibility of a ruptured viscus or an initial misdiagnosis often leads to a great number of investigations. A proposed algorithm of management is given. Other serious and potentially life-threatening conditions, such as Boerhaave syndrome need to be excluded.

Figures in this Article

Sign In to Access Full Content

MEMBER & INDIVIDUAL SUBSCRIBER

Want Access?

NEW TO CHEST?

Become a CHEST member and receive a FREE subscription as a benefit of membership.

Individuals can purchase this article on ScienceDirect.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal or buy individual articles.

Learn more about membership or Purchase a Full Subscription.

INSTITUTIONAL ACCESS

Institutional access is now available through ScienceDirect and can be purchased at myelsevier.com.

Sign In to Access Full Content

MEMBER & INDIVIDUAL SUBSCRIBER

Want Access?

NEW TO CHEST?

Become a CHEST member and receive a FREE subscription as a benefit of membership.

Individuals can purchase this article on ScienceDirect.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal or buy individual articles.

Learn more about membership or Purchase a Full Subscription.

INSTITUTIONAL ACCESS

Institutional access is now available through ScienceDirect and can be purchased at myelsevier.com.

Figures

Tables

References

NOTE:
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Sign In to Access Full Content

MEMBER & INDIVIDUAL SUBSCRIBER

Want Access?

NEW TO CHEST?

Become a CHEST member and receive a FREE subscription as a benefit of membership.

Individuals can purchase this article on ScienceDirect.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal or buy individual articles.

Learn more about membership or Purchase a Full Subscription.

INSTITUTIONAL ACCESS

Institutional access is now available through ScienceDirect and can be purchased at myelsevier.com.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

CHEST Journal Articles
PubMed Articles
  • CHEST Journal
    Print ISSN: 0012-3692
    Online ISSN: 1931-3543