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J Cardiothorac Surg ; 15(1): 301, 2020 Oct 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-835855


BACKGROUND: Spontaneous pneumomediastinum unrelated to mechanical ventilation is a newly described complication of COVID-19 pneumonia. The objective of this case presentation is to highlight an important complication and to explore potential predisposing risk factors and possible underlying pathophysiology of this phenomenon. CASE PRESENTATION: We present two patients with COVID-19 pneumonia complicated by spontaneous pneumomediastinum, pneumopericardium, pneumothorax and subcutaneous emphysema without positive pressure ventilation. Both patients had multiple comorbidities, received a combination of antibiotics, steroids and supportive oxygen therapy, and underwent routine laboratory workup. Both patients then developed spontaneous pneumomediastinum and ultimately required intubation and mechanical ventilation, which proved to be challenging to manage. CONCLUSIONS: Spontaneous pneumomediastinum is a serious complication of COVID-19 pneumonia, of which clinicians should be aware. Further studies are needed to determine risk factors and laboratory data predictive of development of spontaneous pneumomediastinum in COVID-19 pneumonia.

Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Mediastinal Emphysema/etiology , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Pneumopericardium/etiology , Pneumothorax/etiology , Subcutaneous Emphysema/etiology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Female , Humans , Intermittent Positive-Pressure Ventilation/methods , Male , Mediastinal Emphysema/diagnosis , Mediastinal Emphysema/therapy , Middle Aged , Oxygen Inhalation Therapy/methods , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Pneumopericardium/diagnosis , Pneumothorax/diagnosis , Pneumothorax/therapy , Radiography, Thoracic , SARS-CoV-2 , Subcutaneous Emphysema/diagnosis , Tomography, X-Ray Computed