What is the prevalence of subcutaneous emphysema in 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

Although not pathognomic of pneumomediastinum, the presence of subcutaneous crepitations suggests free air is present within the thoracic cavity.

Stack reported finding subcutaneous emphysema in 73% of patients presenting with asthma subsequently found to have pneumomediastinum. [7] The positive predictive value of this sign for pneumomediastinum in their series was 100%.


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