Issue N# 3 - 2003
Spontaneous subcutaneous emphysema of the neck: A case report.
Authors : C. Bodenez, Th. Houliat, S. Lacher Fougère, L. Traissac (Bordeaux)
Ref. : Rev Laryngol Otol Rhinol. 2003;124,3:195-198.
Article published in french
Downloadable PDF document french
Spontaneous cervical subcutaneous emphysema, without any aetiology found in the clinical history, is far less common than subcutaneous cervical emphysema following trauma, surgery, or infectious cervical processes. In this recent case report, the authors describe a young woman who developped a cervical subcutaneous emphysema. No responsible factor had been found. Radiological investigations revealed a pneumomediastinum, wich is an uncommon but a serious complication of cervical emphysema. The CT-scan highlighted a rupture of the crico-thyroid membrane, from which the air had followed the fascial planes up to the neck and the mediastinum. The authors describe the treatment and clinical course. They put forward an embryological hypothesis regarding the spontaneous crico-thyroid membrane rupture. A congenital fragility of this area could exist wich could explain its breach. The pathogenesis and management of spontaneous cervical emphysema are discussed in the light of diverses articles about this subject. The radiological or surgical explorations which may be used in this aetiological diagnosis and treatment are given.
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