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Subcutaneous emphysema is usually due to distention of the subcutaneous areolar tissue with air. Diagnosis of the condition and determination of its cause are not as a rule difficult. Its commonest starting place is in the thorax, particularly where there has been injury to the tissue of the lung, as by a broken rib, a stab with a knife, a bullet wound or rupture of an alveolus by excessive coughing (as in whooping cough or bronchitis) or in an operative procedure (such as exploratory needling of the chest). The air spreads rapidly and may extend over the greater part of the trunk in a short time, disappearing in the course of a few days. It may act similarly after a tracheotomy. The face may sometimes be almost suddenly involved unilaterally by the escape of air into the subcutaneous tissues from the upper part of the nose, after violent sneezing or
GIDOLL SH. RETROPHARYNGEAL AND CERVICAL EMPHYSEMA: REPORT OF A CASE. Arch Otolaryngol. 1938;27(5):552–554. doi:10.1001/archotol.1938.00650030565003
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