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VOLUME 11 , ISSUE 4 ( October-December, 2022 ) > List of Articles


Airleak Syndrome Like Spontaneous Subcutaneous Emphysema, Pneumomediastinum and Pneumothorax as Presenting Signs of Corona Virus Pneumonia - A Case Series

Sanjeev Kumar Singla, Rakendra Singh

Keywords : COVID-19, pneumothorax, spontaneous pneumomediastinum, subcutaneous emphysema

Citation Information : Singla SK, Singh R. Airleak Syndrome Like Spontaneous Subcutaneous Emphysema, Pneumomediastinum and Pneumothorax as Presenting Signs of Corona Virus Pneumonia - A Case Series. Indian J Respir Care 2022; 11 (4):392-395.

DOI: 10.4103/ijrc.ijrc_124_22

License: CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Published Online: 01-12-2022

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2022; Indian Journal of Respiratory Care.


infection in patients without positive pressure ventilation. This case series presents five cases of COVID-19 pneumonia who presented with alveolar air leak syndrome without prior invasive or noninvasive ventilation and high-flow nasal cannula oxygenation. Two patients presented with surgical emphysema, two with pneumothorax, and one with pneumomediastinum. This series included 30-50-year-old nonsmokers (three males and two females) with no previous history of any comorbidity and smoking who came to the emergency with symptoms such as cough, breathing difficulty, and respiratory distress. The COVID-19 infection was diagnosed by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction test for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. Chest X-ray and computed tomography showed diffuse multifocal ground-glass infiltrates, interlobular septal thickening, and infiltration in all patients. Three patients had subcutaneous emphysema, two had pneumothorax and pneumomediastinum, and one had pneumomediastinum. Three patients later on required invasive mechanical ventilation. Alveolar air leak syndrome including spontaneous pneumomediastinum, pneumothorax, and subcutaneous emphysema is rarely seen as the initial presentation of coronavirus pneumonia but may develop after positive pressure ventilation.

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