Tension Pneumopericardium: A Case Report and a Review of the Literature

Haan, James M.; Scalea, Thomas M.
April 2006
American Surgeon;Apr2006, Vol. 72 Issue 4, p330
Academic Journal
Pneumopericardium, or air within the pericardial sack, generally occurs after high-speed blunt deceleration injuries. Although it is generally relatively benign, in rare instances, it can become hemodynamically significant. The diagnosis is easily made on plain chest radiography. More recently, chest computed tomography has been helpful in making the diagnosis. Injury to vital structures such as the tracheobronchial tree or esophageal tears require operative fixation. However, in most instances, pneumopericardium is secondary to dissection of air through the adjacent structures to the pericardial space. The air is trapped as a one-way valve. The pneumopericardium is usually self-limited, requiring no specific therapy. In patients where there is a concomitant pneumothorax, chest tube drainage suffices. We present a case of hemodynamically significant tension pneumopericardium that occurred in association with blunt carotid injury and aortic injury.


Related Articles

  • A large chest wall tumour in an asymptomatic 15-year-old girl. Chen, K.-C.; Lin, W.-C.; Lee, V.-C.; Chen, J.-.S; Hsu, H.-H.; Lee, Y-C // Thorax;Jan2008, Vol. 63 Issue 1, p41 

    The article asks medical professionals for the diagnosis for a 15-year-old girl who was found through chest x-ray to have a pleura-based mass located in the left lower thorax which featured multiple rib destruction and downward depression of the left hemidiaphragm. Computed tomography...

  • Fecopneumothorax and colopleural fistula -- uncommon complications of Crohn's disease. G Barišiæ; Krivokapiæ, Z.; Adžiæ, T.; Pavloviæ, A.; Popoviæ, M.; Gojniæ, M. // BMC Gastroenterology;2006, Vol. 6, p17 

    Background: Colopleural fistula and fecopneumothorax are very rare complications of Crohn's disease. Fistula formation is frequent in Crohn's disease and occurs in approximately 33% of patients. On the other hand, fistulous communication between the pleural cavity and adjacent organs below the...

  • The occult pneumothorax: What have we learned? Ball, Chad G.; Kirkpatrick, Andrew W.; Feliciano, David V. // Canadian Journal of Surgery;Oct2009, Vol. 52 Issue 5, pE173 

    Supine anteroposterior chest radiography is an insensitive test for posttraumatic pneumothoraces. Computed tomography often detects pneumothoraces that were not diagnosed on chest radiography (occult pneumothoraces). Whereas the incidence of occult pneumothoraces approximates 5% of all trauma...

  • Delayed Pneumothorax After Bronchoscopy in a Lung Transplant Patient. Kwan, Alan C.; Pipavath, Sudhakar; Leary, Peter J.; Kicska, Gregory // Respiratory Care;Mar2013, Vol. 58 Issue 3, pe18 

    Lung transplant patients commonly undergo transbronchial biopsy to evaluate for rejection. Postbiopsy radiographs are used to exclude pneumothorax, one of the most common major complications. We report a lung transplant patient who developed a pneumothorax 5 months after transbronchial biopsy,...

  • Incidental carcinoma in bullous emphysema. Abu Arab, Walid; Echavé, Vincent; Sirois, Marco; Gomes, Marcio M. // Canadian Journal of Surgery;Jun2009, Vol. 52 Issue 3, pE56 

    The article reports on the case of a 52-year-old man who has a right spontaneous pneumothorax. The patient was surgically managed with tube thoracostomy, then minithoracotomy and right apical bulla excision. The diagnosis of the patient is described, in which he underwent chest radiography and...

  • Pneumomediastinum. Kouritas, Vasileios K.; Papagiannopoulos, Konstantinos; Lazaridis, George; Baka, Sofia; Mpoukovinas, Ioannis; Karavasilis, Vasilis; Lampaki, Sofia; Kioumis, Ioannis; Pitsiou, Georgia; Papaiwannou, Antonis; Karavergou, Anastasia; Kipourou, Maria; Lada, Martha; Organtzis, John; Katsikogiannis, Nikolaos; Tsakiridis, Kosmas; Zarogoulidis, Konstantinos; Zarogoulidis, Paul // Journal of Thoracic Disease;2015 Suppl. 1, Vol. 7, pS44 

    No abstract available.

  • Occult pneumothoraces – red flag or red herring? Nassimizadeh, A; Taki, H; Nassimizadeh, M; Senanayake, EL; Graham, T; Porter, K // Trauma;Jul2015, Vol. 17 Issue 3, p201 

    Pneumothorax is a relatively common complication following blunt chest trauma; however, the investigation and management of these injuries remains a contentious issue. Occult pneumothoraces are those not diagnosed by conventional radiographic imaging, but by subsequent computed tomography. This...

  • A study on the evaluation of pneumothorax by imaging methods in patients presenting to the emergency department for blunt thoracic trauma. Kaya, Şeyhmus; Çevik, Arif Alper; Acar, Nurdan; Döner, Egemen; Sivrikoz, Cumhur; Özkan, Ragıp // Turkish Journal of Trauma & Emergency Surgery / Ulusal Travma ve;Sep2015, Vol. 21 Issue 5, p366 

    BACKGROUND: Pneumothorax (PNX) is the collection of air between parietal and visceral pleura, and collapsed lung develops as a complication of the trapped air. PNX is likely to develop spontaneously in people with risk factors. However, it is mostly seen with blunt or penetrating trauma....

  • Case Study: A 40-Year-Oid Female with Penetrating Chest Trauma. Sams, Valerie G.; Enderson, Blaine L. // Journal of Surgical Radiology;Oct2011, Vol. 2 Issue 4, p432 

    The article presents a case study of a 40-year-old female, with no prior chest surgery history, who was admitted to Level I trauma center because of a full alert trauma resulted as a consequence of receiving multiple knife stab wounds on her left chest, right thigh and right hand. A computed...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics