The Etiology of Pneumoperitoneum in the 21st Century

Article · September 2012with12 Reads
DOI: 10.1097/TA.0b013e31825c157f · Source: PubMed

We sought to determine the origin of free intraperitoneal air in this era of diminishing prevalence of peptic ulcer disease and imaging studies. In addition, we attempted to stratify the origin of free air by the size of the air collection. We queried our hospital database for "pneumoperitoneum" from 2005 to 2007 and for proven gastrointestinal perforation from 2000 to 2007. Massive amount of free air was defined as any air pocket greater than 10.0 cm. Among patients with free air, the predominant causes were perforated viscus (41%) and postoperative (<8 days) residual air (37%). For patients with visceral perforation, only 45% had free air on imaging studies, and for these patients, the predominant cause was peptic ulcer (16%), diverticulitis (16%), trauma (14%), malignancy (14%), bowel ischemia (10%), appendicitis (6%), and endoscopy (4%). The likelihood that free air was identified on an imaging study by lesion was 72% for perforated peptic ulcer, 57% for perforated diverticulitis, but only 8% for perforated appendicitis. The origin of massive free air was equally likely to be gastroduodenal, small bowel, or colonic perforation. The cause of free air when surgical pathology is the source has substantially changed from previous reports. Epidemiologic study, level IV.

    • "Rarely could pneumoperitoneum be demonstrated on plain roentgenogram as was present in our case. Pneumoperitoneum has a reported occurrence of only 8% in the cases of perforated ap- pendicitis.[8] Plain abdominal x-rays, ultrasound and CT scan abdomen all have been advocated in the radiological workup of a suspected NA, with CT scan abdomen being the most sensitive and specific tool.[2] Treatment aims at early recognition and ap- pendectomy. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Acute appendicitis is a rare condition in neonates, with a high mortality. If perforated, it seldom presents with radiologically significant pneumoperitoneum. An 11-day-old newborn presented with abdominal distension and reluctance to feeds. X-ray abdomen revealed significant pneumoperitoneum. After optimization of his condition, exploratory laparotomy was performed. Perforated appendix was found and appendicectomy done. Post operative course was stormy that lead to demise of the baby.
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  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Acute life-threatening conditions in oncology patients may develop either because of underlying malignancy or as a complication from treatment. Oncologic emergencies can be categorized as metabolic, hematologic, and structural conditions. Metabolic and hematologic emergencies are mainly diagnosed on the basis of clinical and laboratory findings. Structural pathologic conditions that result in bleeding, mechanical compression, or obstruction to the hollow organs, such as the trachea and bowel loops, may first be suspected because of clinical findings, including decreasing hematocrit levels, difficulty in breathing, and abdominal pain; however, performance of imaging studies is critical for timely diagnosis and management. Life-threatening conditions of the central nervous system (such as cerebral herniation, carcinomatous meningitis, and spinal cord compression), thoracic emergent conditions (such as central airway obstruction, esophagorespiratory fistula, massive hemoptysis, pulmonary embolism, superior vena cava syndrome, and pericardial tamponade), and abdominopelvic emergencies (such as uncontrolled intraabdominal hemorrhage, bowel obstruction, intestinal perforation, bowel ischemia, intussusception, and urinary tract obstruction) can be definitively diagnosed on the basis of projectional or cross-sectional imaging findings in appropriate clinical scenarios. Select emergent conditions in cancer patients related to chemotherapy and radiation treatment, as well as iatrogenic emergencies secondary to either surgery or placement of central venous catheters, may also demonstrate characteristic findings at imaging studies. In addition, interventional procedures are of great help in the treatment of acute superior vena cava syndrome, massive hemoptysis, and uncontrolled intraabdominal hemorrhage. Radiologists should be aware of these select, "not to be missed" imaging findings of oncologic emergencies to make an accurate, timely diagnosis and provide appropriate patient care. © RSNA, 2013.
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