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Case Reports in Pulmonology
Volume 2015, Article ID 201051, 4 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/201051
Case Report

Hamman’s Syndrome: A Rare Cause of Chest Pain in a Postpartum Patient

1Department of Internal Medicine, Providence Hospital and Medical Center, 16001 W Nile Mile Road, Southfield, MI 48075, USA
2Department of Pulmonology, Providence Hospital and Medical Center, 16001 W Nile Mile Road, Southfield, MI 48075, USA

Received 21 November 2014; Accepted 6 January 2015

Academic Editor: Samer Al-Saad

Copyright © 2015 Daniyeh Khurram 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.

Abstract

Hamman’s syndrome is a rare condition represented by spontaneous pneumomediastinum and subcutaneous emphysema. Excessive Valsalva maneuver during vaginal delivery and excessive retching, coughing, and straining are frequently reported causes. The incidence of Hamman’s syndrome is believed to be 1 in 100,000 deliveries. The pathophysiology of this condition is rupture of alveoli and seepage of air through bronchovascular connective tissue. Diffusion of air to subcutaneous tissues results in subcutaneous emphysema. In most cases, it is a benign condition and resolves spontaneously. In life-threatening cases, a cardiac tamponade can ensue. Chest X-ray is a useful early diagnostic technique. We report a case of a twenty-four-year-old female who was diagnosed with Hamman’s syndrome after prolonged, exhaustive labor.