Acute non-traumatic gastrothorax: presentation of a case with chest pain and atypical radiologic findings

Deepwant Singh, Pieter Mackeith, Dipesh Pravin Gopal

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A previously well 71-year-old woman presented to the Emergency Department with acute-onset left-sided chest pain. She was haemodynamically stable with unremarkable systemic examination. Her electrocardiogram and troponin were within normal limits and her chest radiograph showed a raised left hemi-diaphragm. Two hours after admission, this woman became acutely breathless, and suffered a pulseless electrical activity cardiac arrest. After cardiopulmonary resuscitation, there was a return of spontaneous circulation and regained consciousness. A repeat clinical assessment revealed a new left-sided dullness to percussion with contralateral percussive resonance on respiratory examination. CXR revealed a left pan-hemi-thoracic opacity whilst better definition using CT-pulmonary angiography (CTPA) indicated an acute tension gastrothorax secondary to a large left-sided diaphragmatic hernia. Nasogastric (NG) tube insertion was used to decompress the stomach and the patient underwent uncomplicated emergency laparoscopic hernia reduction. She remained well at 1-year follow-up.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere6409
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 23 Mar 2016


  • cardiopulmonary arrest
  • diaphragmatic hernia
  • laparoscopic surgery

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