Document Detail

Unrecognized pneumothorax as a cause of intraspinal air.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  7701399     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
STUDY DESIGN: This is a case report. OBJECTIVE: A case of intraspinal air in a polytraumatized patient with unrecognized pneumothorax after blunt chest trauma is reported. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: In most cases, intraspinal air is associated with degenerative disc disease, epidural abscess, or synovial cyst, or it follows iatrogenic manipulation. Scialdone and Wagle first reported a case of intraspinal air due to a laceration of the right main bronchus. No previous case of intraspinal air after a simple unsuspected pneumothorax following blunt chest trauma has been reported. METHODS: During routine x-ray and computed tomography examination of a polytraumatized patient, an unsuspected pneumothorax due to a rib fracture was detected in a thorax computed tomography scan. Computed tomography scans of the cervical spine showed a collection of intraspinal air. RESULTS: The computed tomography examination of a polytraumatized patient with an unsuspected pneumothorax after blunt chest trauma showed the embolization of air in the paravertebral vein plexus and in the intraspinal canal. CONCLUSION: These observations suggest a wider indication for computed tomography scans of the thorax in blunt chest trauma. Also, whenever intraspinal air is found in the diagnostic course of a traumatized patient, a hidden pneumothorax should be suspected and ruled out.
C Khodadadyan; R Hoffmann; K Neumann; N P S?dkamp
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Case Reports; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Spine     Volume:  20     ISSN:  0362-2436     ISO Abbreviation:  Spine     Publication Date:  1995 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1995-05-04     Completed Date:  1995-05-04     Revised Date:  2010-03-24    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7610646     Medline TA:  Spine (Phila Pa 1976)     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  838-40     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Trauma and Reconstructive Surgery, Free University of Berlin, Rudolf Virchow Medical Center, Germany.
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MeSH Terms
Cervical Vertebrae / radiography*
Multiple Trauma / radiography
Pneumothorax / complications*,  etiology,  radiography
Rib Fractures / complications
Spinal Canal / radiography*
Thoracic Injuries / complications
Tomography, X-Ray Computed
Wounds, Nonpenetrating / complications
Reg. No./Substance:

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