open access

Vol 44, No 1 (2012 Jan-Mar)
Case reports
Published online: 2012-03-30
Submitted: 2012-03-30
Accepted: 2012-03-30
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Traumatic air in spinal canal (pneumorrhachis)

Dawoud El-Halabi, Taek Alkandari, Mohamed Mammdoh Yaktien
Anaesthesiol Intensive Ther 2012;44(1):25-27.

open access

Vol 44, No 1 (2012 Jan-Mar)
Case reports
Published online: 2012-03-30
Submitted: 2012-03-30
Accepted: 2012-03-30

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Pneumorrhachis (PR) means the presence of air in the spinal canal; it is an exceptional, but important radiographic finding, which may be associated with different aetiologies and pathways of air entry into the spinal canal.

CASE REPORT: An 18-year-old male was admitted to hospital after a road traffic accident. He was conscious, with several abrasions and subcutaneous haematoma and emphysema on the left side, but no pneumothorax. Ultrasound of the abdomen showed a grade 2 splenic rupture with minimal bleeding. CT revealed no fractures but the presence of air in the spinal canal. The patient was placed on conservative treatment and discharged home without any complications or sequelae.

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: PR can be epidural or subdural, iatrogenic or traumatic. It is usually asymptomatic, but can be also associated with marked morbidity, especially when it is subdural in the cervical region. It can be regarded as a predictor of the severity of head injury. Pneumorrhachis does not usually require surgical intervention.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Pneumorrhachis (PR) means the presence of air in the spinal canal; it is an exceptional, but important radiographic finding, which may be associated with different aetiologies and pathways of air entry into the spinal canal.

CASE REPORT: An 18-year-old male was admitted to hospital after a road traffic accident. He was conscious, with several abrasions and subcutaneous haematoma and emphysema on the left side, but no pneumothorax. Ultrasound of the abdomen showed a grade 2 splenic rupture with minimal bleeding. CT revealed no fractures but the presence of air in the spinal canal. The patient was placed on conservative treatment and discharged home without any complications or sequelae.

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: PR can be epidural or subdural, iatrogenic or traumatic. It is usually asymptomatic, but can be also associated with marked morbidity, especially when it is subdural in the cervical region. It can be regarded as a predictor of the severity of head injury. Pneumorrhachis does not usually require surgical intervention.

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Keywords

complications, pneumorrhachis; trauma

About this article
Title

Traumatic air in spinal canal (pneumorrhachis)

Journal

Anaesthesiology Intensive Therapy

Issue

Vol 44, No 1 (2012 Jan-Mar)

Pages

25-27

Published online

2012-03-30

Bibliographic record

Anaesthesiol Intensive Ther 2012;44(1):25-27.

Keywords

complications
pneumorrhachis
trauma

Authors

Dawoud El-Halabi
Taek Alkandari
Mohamed Mammdoh Yaktien

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