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Test Findings
 
 

Subcutaneous Emphysema

 
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Overview

  • Look For

  • Areas of hypo-opacification within the soft tissues surrounding the thorax / abdomen.
  • Example

  • Subcutaneous emphysema within the soft tissues of the right shoulder and chest wall
  • No Overlay
    Overlay
    Subcutaneous emphysema within the soft tissues of the right shoulder and chest wall
     
  • Causes of Subcutaneous Emphysema

  • Respiratory

  • Tracheal / major bronchial rupture - trauma, iatrogenic, spontaneous
  • Alveolar rupture - asthma, airway foreign body, mechanical ventilation, coughing, vomiting, pneumonitis, emphysema, fibrosis
  • Gastrointestinal

  • Oesophageal rupture - trauma, iatrogenic, spontaneous
  • Hollow visceral perforation - GI trauma, perforated ulcer, iatrogenic
  • Air trapping post abdominal surgery
  • Peritoneal dialysis
  • Air from Externally

  • Penetrating trauma
  • Surgery
  • Other

  • Facial / neck pathology - facial fracture, dental extraction, tracheostomy
  • Infection with gas-producing organism
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