Mediastinal emphysema is not a rare condition and has been recognized clinically for more than a century. McGuire and Bean,1 in a comprehensive review of the literature prior to 1939, attribute to Laennec the original description of curious grating sounds and bubbling râles during respiration as diagnostic signs of subpleural and interlobar emphysema of the lungs. Hamman2 points out that even before Laennec physicians had recognized the occurrence of interstitial emphysema of the lung by noticing subcutaneous emphysema about the neck following trauma to the chest and after overdistention of the lungs by violent effort. Pneumomediastinum has been reported secondary
MILLER H. SPONTANEOUS MEDIASTINAL EMPHYSEMA1. Ann Intern Med. ;21:998–1010. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-21-6-998
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1944;21(6):998-1010.
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