Images in Thorax: Crack inhalation induced pneumomediastinum

anes, S. M.; Ind, P. W.; Jackson, J.
April 2004
Thorax;Apr2004, Vol. 59 Issue 4, p360
Academic Journal
The article presents a case study of a 30 year old man who feels severe chest pain and coughing after smoking crack. Smoking crack is a potent and highly addictive crystalline form of cocaine, usually involves deep inspiration followed by the valsalva and coughing. Computed tomography was performed. The scan showed free gas within the mediastinum anterior to the cardiac silhouette and ground glass opacity in both lungs. The patient developed acute injury due to inhalation of crack causing bronchospasm, increases alveolar pressure and rupture, followed by interstitial emphysema. The patient recovered rapidly without intervention other than oxygen. It was suggested that crack smoking can cause pneumomediastinum as well as pneumothorax.


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