A Case Report of Pneumomediastinum in Blunt Chest Trauma - C
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Blunt trauma is the most common mechanism of injury in patients with pneumomediastinum and may occur in up to 10% of patients with severe blunt thoracic and cervical trauma. This article presents a 24-year-old man with pneumomediastinum due to blunt chest trauma after jumping from a bridge into a river. He complained of persistent retrosternal pain with exacerbation during deep inspiration. Physical examination showed only a slight tenderness of the sternum and the extended Focused Assessment with Sonography for Trauma (e-FAST) was normal.

Pneumomediastinum was suspected by chest X-ray and confirmed by computed tomography, which showed a lung contusion as probable cause of the pneumomediastinum due to the “Mackling effect.” Sonographic findings consistent with pneumomediastinum, like the “air gap” sign, are helpful for quick bedside diagnosis, but the diagnostic criteria are not yet as well established as for pneumothorax. This present case shows that despite minimal findings in physical examination and a normal e-FAST a pneumomediastinum is still possible in a patient with chest pain after blunt chest trauma...

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