Pneumomediastinum Following Drug Abuse
Z.G. Fridlender, A. Bloch
Medical Division, Hadassah Hospital, Ein Kerem, Jerusalem
Pneumomediastinum is termed spontaneous when not associated with trauma or other identifiable pathological process. There are several reports of pneumomediastinum following narcotic drug inhalation or smoking while applying positive pressure. We describe a 37-year-old male drug addict, hospitalized after having being found unconscious with shortness of breath. CT scan demonstrated bilateral pneumonia with pneumomediastinum. After a day of mechanical ventilation he gradually recovered and the mediastinal air disappeared.
Pneumomediastinum may occur in addicts but usually has no dangerous clinical consequences. If there is respiratory deterioration another cause should be sought.