Causes of pneumocephalus and when to be concerned about it

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Intracranial gas is commonly detected on neuroimaging. The recognition of this finding can at first blush be unsettling. Being able to localize this gas to a specific compartment: intraarterial, intravenous, intraparenchymal, subdural, epidural, subarachnoid and intraventricular, is the first step in determining the importance of the gas. Determination of the route of entry: through the skull, extension from a paranasal sinus or the mastoid air cells, via the spine, or trans-vascular, is the other important factor in determining potential consequences. Understanding these parameters allows for a confident determination of etiology. More importantly, it generally provides guidance as to what must be done: either to disregard (e.g., subarachnoid gas following lumbar puncture and intravenous gas following IV placement), obtain follow-up (e.g., postoperative gas), or administer emergent treatment (e.g., intraarterial gas and epidural abscess). In this review, we use gas location and route of entry to classify the various causes of pneumocephalus and provide examples of each of these etiologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalEmergency Radiology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Mar 15 2018

Fingerprint

Pneumocephalus
Gases
Epidural Abscess
Mastoid
Spinal Puncture
Paranasal Sinuses
Skull
Neuroimaging
Blood Vessels
Spine
Air

Keywords

  • Epidural air
  • Pneumocephalus
  • Subarachnoid air
  • Subdural air
  • Subdural empyema

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

Cite this

Causes of pneumocephalus and when to be concerned about it. / Cunqueiro, Alain A.; Scheinfeld, Meir H.

In: Emergency Radiology, 15.03.2018, p. 1-10.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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