What are possible complications of 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 rarely leads to clinically significant complications. More commonly, the associated or precipitating condition underlying pneumomediastinum may be the cause of significant illness. Rarely, tension pneumomediastinum has been reported in which elevated mediastinal pressure leads to diminished cardiac output because of direct cardiac compression or reduced venous return. When extensive subcutaneous and mediastinal gas is present, airway compression may also occur. Jennings et al (2013) report this as a complication following blunt thoracic trauma. [2]

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