An Unusual Presentation of an Unusual Disease: Spontaneous Pneumomediastinum.S D Med. 2016 Nov; 69(11):495-497.SD
We report a case of spontaneous pneumomediastinum with unusual clinical presentation. The most common symptoms of spontaneous mediastinum are chest pain and shortness of breath. Our patient presented with neck swelling and change in voice, an unusual presentation for spontaneous pneumothorax. A 30-year-old previously healthy man presented with complaints of neck swelling and hoarseness of voice beginning after an intense coughing spell. He had no other complaints. He denied any trauma to the chest, nausea, vomiting, recent air travel, scuba diving or recreational drug use. His vital signs were stable with an O2 saturation of 97 percent on room air. Chest examination was remarkable for palpable crepitus over lower neck as well as bilateral upper and mid anterior chest. Chest radiograph as well as chest computed tomography (CT) demonstarted a massive pneumomediastinum with free air dissecting throughout the soft tissues of the neck. The patient was admitted for observation. Neck swelling and hoarseness of voice resolved in less than 24 hours with conservative management of cough. He was discharged without incident. Spontaneous pneumomediastinum is an uncommon, self-limiting condition in which air is present in the mediastinum with no obvious precipitating factor. Cough, inhaled drugs, physical exercise, labor, and diabetic ketoacidosis have been reported to trigger spontaneous pneumomediastinum. Our patient developed the condition after an intense coughing spell following smoking cessation. CT scan is considered gold standard for the diagnosis. Spontaneous pneumomediastinum is characterized by spontaneous recovery and can be treated with short period of observation and symptomatic management.