Journal of Emergencies, Trauma, and Shock
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CASE REPORT
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 128-129

Gastrothorax or tension pneumothorax: A diagnostic dilemma


Department of Cardiac Anaesthesia, Cardiothoracic Centre, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi 110029, India

Correspondence Address:
Sarvesh P Singh
Department of Cardiac Anaesthesia, Cardiothoracic Centre, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi 110029
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0974-2700.76821

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Gastrothorax, a rare complication following thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm repair, is reported. The clinical features of a gastrothorax and tension pneumothorax are similar and thus, a gastrothorax can masquerade as a tension pneumothorax. The diagnosis is made by a high level of clinical suspicion, chest X-ray shows a distended stomach with air fluid levels and a computerised tomography is useful in assessing the diaphragm and establishing the positions of the various intra-abdominal organs. Also, the risk of an intercostal drainage tube placement and the role of nasogastric tube in avoiding the development of a tension gastrothorax is highlighted.


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