Why is cocaine use a risk factor for pneumomediastinum (PM)?

Updated: Feb 26, 2019
  • Author: Patrick L Carolan, MD; Chief Editor: Girish D Sharma, MD, FCCP, FAAP  more...
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Answer

The pulmonary toxicities of inhalant abuse are generally due to asphyxia or direct chemical pneumonitis. However, air leak is possible. In a series that included adults, Perna et al reported the most common predisposing factor was consumption of cocaine seen in 55%. [23] The pattern of cocaine use was that of occasional use (as opposed to regular or long-term abuse), typically occurring a few hours before presenting symptoms.


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