Image of the Week: Pneumoperitoneum - Clinical Advisor

Image of the Week: Pneumoperitoneum

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  • Image of the Week: Pneumoperitoneum

This x-ray demonstrates a dramatic case of pneumoperitoneum, sometimes called free air under the diaphragm.

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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...

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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.

References

  1. 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.

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