Image of the Week: Pneumoperitoneum
This x-ray demonstrates a dramatic case of pneumoperitoneum, sometimes called free air under the diaphragm.
The Image of the Week for Oct. 19 is brought to you in partnership with:
Submit your diagnosis to see full explanation.
In this case, pneumoperitoneum was caused by a perforated sigmoid colon, but free air can also be caused by any pathology resulting in a perforation in the gastrointestinal tract. The most common cause of pneumoperitoneum is the perforation of the abdominal viscus.1
This finding can be subtle but should always be treated as a surgical emergency.
- Khan AN et al. “Pneumoperitoneum Imaging” Medscape. 7 Apr 2014. Retrieved 10/17/2014 from http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/372053-overview
To see more cases like this, visit Figure 1.