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Chest X-Ray
 
 

Subdiaphragmatic Air

 
 
 
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Overview

  • Look For

  • Air visible below the diaphragm. This should not be confused with the gastric bubble.
This is best seen on an erect chest x-ray.
  • Significance

  • An indicator of pneumoperitoneum.
  • Example

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

  • Hollow visceral perforation - GI trauma, perforated ulcer, iatrogenic
  • Air trapping post abdominal surgery
  • Peritoneal dialysis
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