Pneumomediastinum is air in the mediastinum. The mediastinum is the space in the middle of the chest, between the lungs.
Pneumomediastinum is uncommon. The condition can be caused by injury or disease. Most often, it occurs when air leaks from any part of the lung or airways into the mediastinum.
Increased pressure in the lungs or airways may be caused by:
It may also happen after:
Pneumomediastinum also can occur with pneumothorax or other diseases.
Park DR, Vallieres E. Pneumomediastinum and mediastinitis. In: Mason RJ, Broaddus VC, Martin TR, et al, eds. Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2010: chap 77.
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