What is pneumomediastinum (PM)?

Updated: Feb 26, 2019
  • Author: Patrick L Carolan, MD; Chief Editor: Girish D Sharma, MD, FCCP, FAAP  more...
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Pneumomediastinum (PM) was first described by Laennec in 1819 as a consequence of traumatic injury. Spontaneous pneumomediastinum (SPM) was reported in 1939 by Hamman, for whom the Hamman sign (see Physical) is named. Pneumomediastinum is an uncommon entity in pediatric practice. It is defined as free air or gas contained within the mediastinum, which almost invariably originates from the alveolar space or the conducting airways. The etiology of pneumomediastinum is multifactorial. [1]

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