Original Article

Journal of Medical Ultrasonics

, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 45-49

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Imaging neonatal spontaneous pneumomediastinum using ultrasound

  • Ah Young JungAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology, Hallym University Kangnam Sacred Heart Hospital
  • , Ik YangAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology, Hallym University Kangnam Sacred Heart Hospital Email author 
  • , Hee Sun GoAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology, Hallym University Kangnam Sacred Heart Hospital
  • , Su-Mi ShinAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology, Boramae Medical Center
  • , Hye-Kyung YoonAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology, Asan Medical Center Children’s Hospital
  • , Ji Young WooAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology, Hallym University Kangnam Sacred Heart Hospital
  • , Hye-Suk HongAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology, Hallym University Kangnam Sacred Heart Hospital
  • , Han Myun KimAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology, Hallym University Kangnam Sacred Heart Hospital

Abstract

Purpose

To evaluate the feasibility of ultrasound in detecting spontaneous pneumomediastinum in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and illustrate the ultrasound features.

Methods

Among neonates with abnormal mediastinal radiolucency suspected on chest radiography, those referred for ultrasound examination within 2 days were included. Anterior mediastinal ultrasound was performed using a linear transducer (5–12 MHz) to determine the presence and location of abnormal air in the mediastinum. Clinical data for the neonates were also reviewed.

Results

On ultrasound, pneumomediastinum appeared as thick linear/curvilinear echogenic lines, some with posterior shadowing located between the anterior chest wall and thymus, in lateral margins of the thymus, between the thymus and the great vessels, and in the middle of the thymic parenchyma.

Conclusions

Using ultrasound, pneumomediastinum was easily visualized, and localization of the abnormal air accumulation was possible. Ultrasound may be used as a radiation-free supplementary imaging modality for neonates with abnormal mediastinal air.

Keywords

Pneumomediastinum Ultrasonography Newborn Thymus