Severe subcutaneous and deep cervicofacial emphysema of unusual etiology

European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, 05/09/2011

Rarely however does Subcutaneous and deep cervical emphysema(SCE) occur in isolation as a consequence of elevated intraoral pressure in combination with or without visible lacerations of the oral mucosa. As a consequence, air penetrates the mucosal tears and results in subcutaneous emphysema even extending down to the mediastinum in severe cases. It underlines the importance of anamnesis and careful physical and laboratory examinations in order to differentiate isolated SCE from more severe conditions such as necrotizing fasciitis or mediastinitis, which necessitate immediate surgery.

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