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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 10(3); 1999 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 1999;10(3): 472-480.
A Clinical Experience on Pneumomediastinum: Report of 2 cases
Jun Seok Park, Jai Woog Ko, Sang Won Chung, Tae Sik Hwang, Seung Ho Kim
ABSTRACT
Pneumomediastinum is a relatively uncommon, infrequently reported entity, In the evaluation of these entity, it is important to exclude pathological causes, including Boerhaave's syndrome which carries a high mortality. Spontaneous pneumomediastinum is related to excessive intraalveolar pressure leading to rupture of perivascular alveoli in the setting of a Valsalva maneuver without communication to gut material. So, it has a benign self-limited course and rarely requires medical intervention. On the contrary, secondary pneumomediastinum caused by instrumental, traumatic, and spontaneous perforation of esophagus. Although the prognosis have been improved since the advent of broad-spectrum antibiotics and nutritional support, pneumomediastinum due to esophageal perforation still has a high morbidity and mortality. The most important prognostic factor is the time interval between perforation and initiation of therapy, and an awareness and a high clinical suspicion is critical in the early diagnosis and treatment. Recently, we have experienced 2 cases of pneumomediastinum, one case was spontaneous pneumomediastinum and the other may be caused by instrumental esophageal perforation. We report the clinical course of the patients with a current literature review.
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