Test Findings
 

Mediastinal Air

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Overview

  • Air within the mediastinum is known as pneumomediastinum.
    • Look For

    • Overly sharp mediastinal borders
    • Lucencies around the cardiac apex and great vessels
    • Example

    • Pneumomediastinum and pneumoperitoneum in a post-trauma patient
    • No Overlay
      Overlay
      Pneumomediastinum and pneumoperitoneum in a post-trauma patient
       
    • Causes of Pneumomediastinum

    • Tracheal / major bronchial rupture - trauma, iatrogenic, spontaneous
    • Oesophageal rupture - trauma, iatrogenic, spontaneous
    • Alveolar rupture - asthma, airway foreign body, mechanical ventilation, coughing, vomiting, pneumonitis, emphysema, fibrosis
    • Tracking of air from the neck - facial fracture, dental extraction, tracheostomy
    • Tracking of air from the abdomen - hollow viscous perforation
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