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Images in paediatrics
Asthma complicated by severe subcutaneous emphysema
  1. Susannah Holt,
  2. David Lee,
  3. Huw Mayberry,
  4. Russell Austin
  1. Department of Womens and Childrens, Wirral University NHS Trust, Upton, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Susannah Holt, Department of Womens and Childrens, Wirral University NHS Trust, Upton CH49 5PE, UK; susieholt{at}

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Pneumomediastinum, pneumopericardium and subcutaneous emphysema (SE)1 occur when gas is inappropriately present in anatomical structures. SE is due to the rupture of an alveolus or bronchiole under increased pressure allowing gas to escape extrapleurally. Spontaneous SE (SSE) is associated with acute asthma, aspiration pneumonia and hyaline membrane disease. SSE is uncommon with an incidence of around 1 in 20 000 …

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  • Contributors SH drafted the case report, which was then revised by DL, HM and RA.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.