Document Type : Case Report


Department of Radiodiagnosis, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh, India


Objective: The presence of air within the mediastinal compartment and retro-peritoneal compartment, in the setting of trauma, can be because of visceral and skeletal injuries. However, in absence of a local site injury, an approach based on anatomical communication between various body compartments should be utilized and all potential sites of injuries must be reviewed.
Case Presentation: We present a case of a 40-year-old male patient with a history of trauma (fall from height), presenting to the emergency department with loss of consciousness and ear bleed. Chest radiographs showed pneumomediastinum. On cross-sectional imaging, pneumomediastinum and pneumoretroperitoneum were seen, however no esophageal, tracheal and skeletal injuries could be identified. On careful evaluation, fractures involving the base of skull were identified as a source of ectopic air.
Conclusion: This case represents a situation where the fascial connections between various compartments of the body were utilized to find the site of injury and hence the source of ectopic air. Base of skull fractures are important to be identified since these require surgical attention at an early stage.


Main Subjects

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