What is the prevalence of pneumomediastinum (PM) in the US?

Updated: Feb 26, 2019
  • Author: Patrick L Carolan, MD; Chief Editor: Girish D Sharma, MD, FCCP, FAAP  more...
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The epidemiology of pneumomediastinum reflects that of the associated disease states, when present.

Spontaneous pneumomediastinum is a rare condition. A review by Chalumeau et al summarized the available literature. [6] Based on previous studies, they determined a prevalence of spontaneous pneumomediastinum ranging from 1 per 800 to 1 per 42,000 pediatric patients presenting to a hospital emergency department. Stack et al reported a 0.3% incidence of pneumomediastinum in association with asthma presenting to their institution over a 10-year period. [7] The mean age of affected patients was 11 years. No sex differences were observed in this cohort. Another study by Vianello et al that included 45 patients with severe acute asthma exacerbation found that 11.1% (five patients) were diagnosed with pneumomediastinum. [8]

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