Pneumorrhachis after an upper respiratory infection: a case report of a rare phenomenon


Neurosurgery, Advocate BroMenn Medical Center

Neurosurgery, Advocate Health Care


Pneumorrhachis (PR) is the presence of free air within the spinal canal. It is generally benign and improves with conservative management. Case reports and a literature review exist documenting the existence and potential pathogenesis of this phenomenon, but no evidence-based guidelines exist documenting what treatment, if any, is indicated for this condition. We present a case of a 21-year-old male who developed PR after a preceding upper respiratory tract infection. His symptoms improved with expectant management and administration of high-flow oxygen. The purpose of this case report is to add to the scarce existing literature reporting this condition and to provide a short review of literature detailing the pathogenesis of PR.

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