April 1976

Neonatal Pneumopericardium

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Perinatal Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of Alabama Medical School, Birmingham. Dr Brans is now with the Department of Pediatrics, University of Chicago.

Am J Dis Child. 1976;130(4):393-396. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1976.02120050051009

• Six cases of pneumopericardium in neonates with hyaline membrane disease were observed during a six-month period. Five babies were receiving positive inspiratory or expiratory pressure or both. All but one had other extra-alveolar air collections. In three cases, sudden decrease in Pao2 was the only recorded sign that led to diagnosis. Pericardial aspiration was performed in four babies; one died and three either survived or died later of unrelated disease. One neonate was not treated and died of other causes. Treatment was delayed in the sixth infant; the pneumopericardium disappeared spontaneously but soon reappeared and contributed to a fatal outcome, although a drainage catheter was inserted. This experience and review of other authors' observations suggest that prompt drainage by catheter and continuous suction is indicated.

(Am J Dis Child 130:393-396, 1976)