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Case Reports in Surgery
Volume 2015, Article ID 587508, 2 pages
Case Report

Extensive Subcutaneous Emphysema as a Presentation of Ischemic Colitis

1Department of General Surgery, Hospital of Braga, 4710-243 Braga, Portugal
2Life and Health Sciences Research Institute (ICVS), School of Health Sciences, University of Minho, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
3ICVS/3B’s, PT Government Associate Laboratory, Guimarães, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal

Received 21 May 2015; Revised 27 October 2015; Accepted 1 November 2015

Academic Editor: Christophoros Foroulis

Copyright © 2015 Ana Franky Carvalho 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.


Introduction. Subcutaneous emphysema is usually benign and self-limited; however, it may be associated with a life-threating situation. Case Report. An elderly woman with progressive malaise with extensive subcutaneous emphysema (cervical to abdominal wall) was observed at the emergency department. Colonic perforation was diagnosed and the patient underwent surgery. Intraoperatively, necrosis and perforation of the sigmoid colon into the retroperitoneum were found and a Hartmann procedure was performed. Conclusion. Cervical and thoracic subcutaneous emphysema may be the first sign of intra-abdominal lesion.