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Spontaneous pneumomediastinum and subcutaneous emphysema in a child with unknown aetiology
  1. Anoopkishore Chidambaram1 and
  2. Sirisha Donekal2
  1. 1 Department of Emergency Medicine, Luton and Dunstable University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Luton, Bedfordshire, UK
  2. 2 Department of Paediatrics, Luton and Dunstable University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Luton, Bedfordshire, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Anoopkishore Chidambaram, anoop.chidam{at}


Spontaneous subcutaneous emphysema and pneumomediastinum in children without any predisposing factors is a rare entity. We present a case of an adolescent boy with spontaneous pneumomediastinum. He is a 14-year-old boy brought to the hospital with an odd feeling in the neck and chest. Initial chest X-ray revealed subcutaneous emphysema and pneumomediastinum. He was further evaluated with CT thorax and abdomen with contrast which revealed extensive pneumomediastinum with associated surgical emphysema in the chest wall and neck. Expert opinions from the cardiothoracic and respiratory teams were obtained. The child was discharged with safety netting and description of red flag signs. Repeat chest X-ray in 2 weeks showed complete resolution of the pneumomediastinum and subcutaneous emphysema. We will briefly discuss about the diagnosis and treatment of spontaneous pneumomediastinum and subcutaneous emphysema.

  • air leaks
  • gas/free gas
  • asthma
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  • Patient consent for publication Parental/guardian consent obtained.

  • Contributors AC: Involved in the clinical management of the child, PubMed search, Literature review, Writing the article manuscript, Uploading to BMJ. SD: Clinical management of the child, Drafting the article. Dr. Dhinakharan SR- Feedbacks and assist with the final draft. Patient and his mother: Providing consent for the article to be published. Luton and Dunstable University Hospital: Providing BMJ access.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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