Angelou V. DVM, MSc, PhD, Surgery & Obstetrics Unit, Companion Animal Clinic, School of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
Svigkas P. DVM, School of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
Papazoglou L. DVM, PhD, Professor, Surgery & Obstetrics Unit, Companion Animal Clinic, School of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
Patsikas M.N. DVM, MD, PhD, DiplECVDI, Professor, Laboratory of Diagnostic Imaging, School of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
Pneumopericardium is defined as air accumulation in the pericardial sac. Pneumopericardium due to blunt trauma in the thorax is rarely described in the veterinary literature. The pathogenetic mechanism for the development of pneumopericardium is not always clear. The aim of this study was to describe a case of pneumopericardium as an incidental finding that is rarely reported after blunt trauma.
A 15-year-old mixed breed dog was presented due to a walking disability for 10 days after a fall from a height of 2 m. The dog was paralyzed in pelvic limbs with spinal reflexes being absent, fully compatible with thoracolumbar syndrome. Plain radiographs of the thorax revealed pneumopericardium. The dog was monitored during hospitalization for signs of respiratory distress. It remained asymptomatic, so pericardiocentesis was not performed. An MRI was recommended for diagnosis of the etiology of thoracolumbar syndrome, but it was declined for financial reasons.
The dog was discharged 10 days after the admission. The last day of hospitalization thoracic radiograph revealed resolution of pneumopericardium.
Pneumopericardium may be rarely associated with blunt thoracic trauma and is usually asymptomatic and self-limiting.
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