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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