Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Rare disease
Spontaneous pneumomediastinum and subcutaneous emphysema in systemic lupus erythematosus
  1. AlaEldin H Ahmed1,2,
  2. Elrasheid A Awouda2
  1. 1Department of Medicine, University of Khartoum, Khartoum, Sudan
  2. 2Elshaab Teaching Hospital, Khartoum, Sudan
  1. Correspondence to AlaEldin H Ahmed, drahahmed{at}


We report a case of a 29-year-old woman who is known to have systemic lupus erythematosus and idiopathic interstitial pneumonia; she presented with a 1-day history of substernal chest pain and increasing shortness of breath. On examination, she was found breathless, but was not distressed or afebrile or normotensive. Auscultation of the heart revealed a positive Hamman's sign. There was chest-wall crepitus, and auscultation of the lung showed bilateral crepitations. Full blood count and biochemical profile were unremarkable. Chest x-ray showed signs of idiopathic interstitial pneumonia in addition to pneumomediastinum (linear band of air within mediastinal planes and continuous diaphragm sign) and chest-wall subcutaneous emphysema. She was treated with high-concentration oxygen. A repeat chest x-ray 5 days later showed complete resolution of the pneumomediastinum and subcutaneous emphysema, but signs of idiopathic interstitial pneumonia continued to persist.

View Full Text

Statistics from


  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.