Pneumorrhachis, Subcutaneous Emphysema, Pneumomediastinum, Pneumopericardium, and Pneumoretroperitoneum After Proctocolectomy for Ulcerative Colitis

ArticleinDiseases of the Colon & Rectum 45(4):567-70 · May 2002with3 Reads
Impact Factor: 3.75 · DOI: 10.1007/s10350-004-6241-x · Source: PubMed


    This article presents the first known case of pneumorrhachis (spinal air), pneumomediastinum, pneumopericardium, pneumoretroperitoneum, and subcutaneous emphysema after proctocolectomy for ulcerative colitis. We review the patient's medical history, clinical and laboratory findings, radiographic data, and operative records, as well as the relevant literature. We describe the case of a young male with ulcerative colitis who developed pneumorrhachis, subcutaneous emphysema, pneumoretroperitoneum, pneumomediastinum, and pneumopericardium after a proctocolectomy with ileal pouch-anal anastomosis. Unlike the case we report, previously described episodes of pneumomediastinum and subcutaneous emphysema in patients with ulcerative colitis developed before operative intervention. We offer possible explanations for these unusual complications based on analysis of this case and thorough review of the literature.