What are physical findings characteristic of pneumomediastinum?

Updated: Apr 28, 2020
  • Author: Brian J Daley, MD, MBA, FACS, FCCP, CNSC; Chief Editor: Mary C Mancini, MD, PhD, MMM  more...
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Answer

As with pneumothorax, physical findings of pneumomediastinum may be variable, including absent signs in some patients. However, subcutaneous emphysema is the most consistent sign. Another sign, the Hamman sign—a precordial crunching noise synchronous with the heartbeat and often accentuated during expiration—has a variable rate of occurrence, with one series reporting 10%.


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