Michael P. D'Alessandro, M.D.
Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed
In ventilated patients, the route of air leak from the pulmonary interstitium to the pericardial sac is unknown as there is no known anatomic connection between the interstitium, pleura, or mediastinum and pericardial sac. Pneumopericardium also can be seen postoperatively in cardiac surgery patients.
The "halo sign" - a continuous radiolucent band of air around the heart which conforms to the cardiac outline and does not extend beyond the level of the great vessels. A "continuous diaphragm sign" may be seen, with air outlining the diaphragm under the heart. The continuous diaphragm sign may also be seen in pneumomediastinum.
See References Chapter.
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