Skip Navigation
Skip to contents

ACC : Acute and Critical Care



Page Path
HOME > Search
2 "hydropneumothorax"
Article category
Publication year
Case Reports
Circumferential esophageal perforation resulting in tension hydropneumothorax in a patient with septic shock
Saad Saffo, James Farrell, Anil Nagar
Acute Crit Care. 2021;36(3):264-268.   Published online March 11, 2021
  • 9,071 View
  • 132 Download
  • 1 Crossref
AbstractAbstract PDF
Esophageal perforations occur traumatically or spontaneously and are typically associated with high mortality rates. Early recognition and prompt management are essential. We present the case of a 76-year-old man who was admitted to the medical intensive care unit with fulminant Clostridium difficile colitis, shock, and multi-organ failure. After an initial period of improvement, his condition rapidly deteriorated despite aggressive medical management, and he required mechanical ventilation. Radiography after endotracheal intubation showed interval development of pneumomediastinum and bilateral hydropneumothorax with tension physiology. Chest tube placement resulted in the drainage of multiple liters of dark fluid, and pleural fluid analysis was notable for polymicrobial empyemas. Despite the unusual presentation, esophageal perforation was suspected. Endoscopy ultimately confirmed circumferential separation of the distal esophagus from the stomach, and bedside endoscopic stenting was performed with transient improvement. Two weeks after admission, he developed mediastinitis complicated by recurrent respiratory failure and passed away. This report further characterizes our patient’s unique presentation and briefly highlights the clinical manifestations, management options, and outcomes of esophageal perforations.


Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • Current approach for Boerhaaves syndrome: A systematic review of case reports
    Ippei Yamana, Takahisa Fujikawa, Yuichiro Kawamura, Suguru Hasegawa
    World Journal of Meta-Analysis.2023; 11(4): 112.     CrossRef
Successful Rescue Therapy with Pumpless Extracorporeal Carbon Dioxide Removal in a Patient with Persistent Air Leakage due to Empyema
Jaeyoung Cho, Yeon Joo Lee, Jae-Ho Lee, Choon-Taek Lee, Young-Jae Cho
Korean J Crit Care Med. 2017;32(3):284-290.   Published online November 14, 2016
  • 8,603 View
  • 130 Download
AbstractAbstract PDF
A young metastatic lung cancer patient developed empyema due to an infection with carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii. Hydropneumothorax was detected and managed by a tube thoracotomy. However, persistent air leakage through the chest tube was observed due to the presence of a bronchopleural fistula (BPF). As hypercapnic respiratory failure had progressed and the large air leak did not diminish by conservative management, a pumpless extracorporeal lung assist (pECLA) device was inserted. The pECLA allowed the patient to be weaned from mechanical ventilation and the BPF to heal. The present case shows the effective application of pECLA in a patient with empyema complicated with BPF and severe hypercapnic respiratory failure. pECLA enabled us to minimize airway pressure to aid in the closure of the BPF in the mechanically ventilated patient.

ACC : Acute and Critical Care