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Case Reports in Cardiology
Volume 2015, Article ID 256546, 4 pages
Case Report

Pneumopericarditis: A Case of Acute Chest Pain with ST Segment Elevation

1Department of Internal Medicine, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79430, USA
2Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79430, USA

Received 16 March 2015; Revised 2 June 2015; Accepted 3 June 2015

Academic Editor: Takatoshi Kasai

Copyright © 2015 Erwin E. Argueta et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Pneumopericarditis describes a clinical scenario where fluid and air are found within the pericardial space. Although infrequent, pneumopericarditis should be considered in patients presenting with acute chest pain as a differential diagnosis. This is relevant in patients with history of upper gastrointestinal (GI) surgery, as this may lead to a fistula communicating the GI tract and the pericardium. We report a 42-year-old man with history of numerous surgical interventions related to a Nissen fundoplication that presented with acute chest pain and inferior lead ST segment elevations. Emergent coronary angiography was negative for coronary vascular disease but fluoroscopy revealed air in the pericardial space. Subsequent radiographic studies helped confirm air in the pericardial space with a fistulous communication to the stomach. Ultimate treatment for this defect was surgical closure.