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BY-NC-ND 3.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter Open Access July 31, 2014

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

  • Sanja Hromis EMAIL logo , Biljana Zvezdin , Ivan Kopitovic , Senka Milutinov , Violeta Kolarov , Marija Vukoja and Bojan Zaric
From the journal Open Medicine


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.

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Published Online: 2014-7-31
Published in Print: 2014-10-1

© 2014 Versita Warsaw

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License.

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