Brazilian Journal of Pulmonology

ISSN (on-line): 1806-3756 | ISSN (printed): 1806-3713


Publication continuous and bimonthly

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Current Issue: 2018 - Volume 44 - Number 4 (July/August)


Presence of gas in an unusual place: spontaneous pneumomediastinum (Hamman's syndrome)

Presença de gás em um local incomum: pneumomediastino espontâneo (síndrome de Hamman)


Nicholas Oliveira Duarte1; a; Camila Hino Verdelho1; b; Rodolfo Mendes Queiroz2; 3; c


1. Imagem Center - Diagnóstico por imagem. Departamento de Radiologia e Diagnóstico por Imagem, São José do Rio Preto (SP) Brasil
2. CENTROMED - Diagnóstico por imagem. Departamento de Radiodiagnóstico, Avaré (SP) Brasil.
3. Hospital da Santa Casa de Misericórdia de Avaré, Avaré (SP) Brasil.
a.; b.; c.




A 19-year-old male patient complained of coughing without expectoration, mild dyspnea, and retrosternal pain for three days, with no history of trauma. At physical examination, the patient presented with mild dyspnea, with no evidence of bruising or open cutaneous wounds, mildly painful crackles on bilateral supraclavicular and anterior cervical palpation, and no abnormalities on lung auscultation or laboratory test results. Chest HRCT scans revealed the presence of gas foci in the mediastinum that extended to the neck (Figure 1, arrows), which was compatible with spontaneous pneumomediastinum (Hamman's syndrome). This is a benign, usually self-limiting disease(1) that is more common in male patients from 17 to 25 years of age and slender body type(2) and is characterized by the presence of air in the mediastinum that is unrelated to trauma(3); the prognosis is usually excellent with conservative treatment, i.e., symptomatic treatment based on analgesia, oxygen therapy, and rest.


1. Fishman AP, Elias JA, Fishman JA, Grippi MA, Senior RM, Pack AI. Fishman's Pulmonary Disease and Disorders. 4th ed. Philadelphia: McGraw-Hill Medical; 2008.
2. Fatureto MC, Santos JP, Goulart PE, Maia S. Spontaneous pneumomediastinum: asthma [Article in Portuguese]. Rev Port Pneumol. 2008;14(3):437-41.
3. Hamman L. Spontaneous mediastinal emphysema. Bull Johns Hopkins Hosp. 1939;64(1):1-21.



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