Obŝaâ Reanimatologiâ (Apr 2021)

Mediastinal Emphysema as a Specific Complication of COVID-19 (Case Report)

  • E. P. Pavlikova,
  • M. A. Agapov,
  • P. S. Malakhov,
  • E. A. Galliamov,
  • Yu. S. Esakov,
  • D. R. Markaryan,
  • V. V. Kakotkin,
  • V. A. Kubyshkin

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 17, no. 2
pp. 4 – 15


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During the care of patients with novel coronavirus infection at the Lomonosov MSU Medical Research and Education Center from April 21 to June 13, 2020, we observed cases of spontaneous mediastinal emphysema (spontaneous pneumomediastinum) as a manifestation or a probable complication of COVID-19.The aim of the paper. To provide clinical case descriptions and approaches to the management of patients with spontaneous pneumomediastinum in COVID-19 associated pneumonia, as they are not addressed in the current clinical guidelines, and therefore are worthy of special attention.Among 224 patients with laboratory-confirmed diagnosis of the novel coronavirus infection COVID-19, five cases of pneumomediastinum without pneumothorax were identified. Of these, in two cases the pneumomediastinum developed during noninvasive lung ventilation (NLV) (one case) and invasive lung ventilation (one case). In three cases, spontaneous mediastinal emphysema was not associated with lung ventilation. By the time of publication, one case of pneumomediastinum was completed, and four patients remained hospitalized. All five patients were males aged from 52 to 84 years.This paper presents in depth the description of two cases of mediastinal and subcutaneous emphysema in patients with COVID-19.