Subcutaneous emphysema is a condition caused by the pathologic accumulation of air underneath the skin of the skin or neck. The presence of air in the loose subcutaneous areolar tissue and muscle.
- Bue circle: characteristic of subcutaneous emphysema with muscle bundles of pectoralis muscle becoming visible.
- Red arrow : points to subcutaneous emphysema in the supraclavicular area.
- White arrow: points to streaky air visible in the mediastinum
- Unusual crackling senstation upon palpitation (touch) of the skin as the gas is forced through layers of tissue.
- smooth bulging of the skin may be observed
Subcutaneous emphysema a result of the following conditions:
- Pneumothorax, Collapsed lung often occurring after a rib fracture
- Facial bone fracture, of ten occuring after ethmoid or maxillary sinus fractures
- Ruptured bronchial tube
- Ruptured esophagus
The above conditions often a result of the following trauma:
- Blunt trauma
- Gun shot wounds
LearningRadiology.com. 2009. Subcutaneous emphysema. Retrived April 7, 2009 from http://www.google.ca/imgres?imgurl=http://www.learningradiology.com/caseofweek/caseoftheweekpix2/cow180arr.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.learningradiology.com/archives05/COW%2520180-Subcu%2520Emphysema/subcuemphysemacorrect.htm&h=554&w=440&sz=45&tbnid=cwFleM0IK4Dx8M::&tbnh=133&tbnw=106&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dsubcutaneous%2Bemphysema&hl=en&usg=__5dQQD8KXNf_58XYX91cwEkNuSeI=&ei=jqkDSsqZN6H0tAONm8D7AQ&sa=X&oi=image_result&resnum=4&ct=image
University of Maryland Medical Center. 2009. Subcutaneous emphysema. Retrived April 7, 2009 from http://www.umm.edu/ency/article/003286.htm