What is the role of respiratory tract infections in the etiology 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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Respiratory tract infections, especially if associated with asthma, may predispose a patient to the development of a pneumomediastinum. Fearon et al and Vazquez et al report cases in which pneumomediastinum is associated with mycoplasma lower respiratory tract infection. [28, 29] An association of severe spontaneous pneumomediastinum and laryngotracheitis in a young patient with asthma was reported by Lin et al, suggesting the need to consider spontaneous pneumomediastinum in the differential diagnosis of any patient presenting with cervical emphysema and signs of respiratory tract infection, especially in association with asthma. [30]

Hasegawa et al reported spontaneous pneumomediastinum complicating pneumonia in children infected with the 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) virus. [31]

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