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Central European Journal of Medicine

, Volume 9, Issue 5, pp 642–647 | Cite as

Spontaneous pneumomediastinum: ten years of our experience in diagnosis and outcome

  • Sanja Hromis
  • Biljana Zvezdin
  • Ivan Kopitovic
  • Senka Milutinov
  • Violeta Kolarov
  • Marija Vukoja
  • Bojan Zaric
Research Articlet
  • 52 Downloads

Abstract

Spontaneous pneumomediastinum (SPM) is a rare clinical condition that may be mild but also dramatic with sudden onset of chest pain and dyspnea accompanied by swelling and subcutaneous crepitations. The objective of this study was to analyze the clinical presentation and outcome of SPM in a specialized pulmonary tertiary care centre over a 10 years year period. In subsequent followup, we received information related to recurrence episodes of SPM by patients or their GPs physicians. Eighteen patients, 15 (83%) men, mean age 24 years (SD ±7.86) were diagnosed with SPM. Predominant symptoms were chest pain and cough (n=11) then dyspnea (n=9). Asthma was the most common predisposing condition (n=12). Pneumomediastinum was present on chest radiograph in 17 cases (94%), and in one case it was detected only by computed tomography. The mean length of hospital stay was 7 days (SD ±4.4 days). All our patients recovered and there were no complications. Recurrent event occurred in one asthma patient, 2 years after the first episode. Although, SPM is usually a self-limiting and benign condition, close monitoring is necessary. Recurrence is rare, but possible, with no evidence that routine monitoring of those patients is needed.

Keywords

Pneumomediastinum Subcutaneous emphysema Chest radiograph Asthma Hamman’s sign 

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Copyright information

© Versita Warsaw and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sanja Hromis
    • 1
  • Biljana Zvezdin
    • 1
  • Ivan Kopitovic
    • 1
  • Senka Milutinov
    • 1
  • Violeta Kolarov
    • 1
  • Marija Vukoja
    • 1
  • Bojan Zaric
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Pulmonary Diseases of Vojvodina, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of Novi SadNovi SadSerbia

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