Tuberc Respir Dis.  2015 Oct;78(4):360-362. 10.4046/trd.2015.78.4.360.

Spontaneous Pneumomediastinum: An Unusual Pulmonary Complication in Anorexia Nervosa

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Inje University Sanggye Paik Hospital, Inje University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Spontaneous pneumomediastinum (PM) is an uncommon condition in which free air enters the mediastinum. This usually occurs either through esophageal tears after vigorous vomiting, or after alveolar rupture subsequent to a rapid increase in intra-alveolar pressure. Spontaneous PM is a rare entity in anorexia nervosa (AN) and self-induced vomiting is often the cause of PM in patients with AN. We experienced a case of spontaneous PM in an anorexic adolescent, in whom vomiting was not the cause of PM.


Anorexia Nervosa; Mediastinal Emphysema; Subcutaneous Emphysema

MeSH Terms

Anorexia Nervosa*
Mediastinal Emphysema*
Subcutaneous Emphysema


  • Figure 1 Chest X-ray at the time of admission (A) and on the 10th day of hospitalization (B). Marked improvement in diffuse soft tissue emphysema can be seen.

  • Figure 2 Computed tomography (CT) in the patient with mediastinal emphysema and subcutaneous emphysema in both axillae and lower neck regions. CT scan shows subcutaneous emphysema in the neck and mediastinal emphysema with extension into the intra-abdominal, retroperitoneal (A, B), and epidural regions. Arrow indicates epidural pneumatosis (C).


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