SPONTANEOUS pneumoperitoneum is an unusual condition that, to our knowledge, has not been reported as a consequence of scuba diving.
Report of a Case
A 29-year-old man, who was underwater cave diving at a depth of 30 m for 1 1/2 hours, was forced to make an emergency ascent without taking the recommended decompression stops. Within one hour of surfacing, he began to experience pain in his right elbow, left shoulder, and left hip; he also had a bilateral frontal headache. In the hospital emergency room, the patient reported having no visual symptoms, weakness, sensory loss, chest pain, dyspnea, or abdominal pain. Decompression sickness was diagnosed, and he submitted to a recompression regimen. Postero-anterior and lateral chest roentgenograms showed the presence of pneumoperitoneum without pneumothorax, pneumomediastinum, or subcutaneous air. A left lateral decubitus film confirmed the presence of free air in the abdomen as well as emphysematous bullae in the
Rose DM, Jarczyk PA. Spontaneous Pneumoperitoneum After Scuba Diving. JAMA. 1978;239(3):223. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03280300055022