Korean J Neurotrauma.  2017 Oct;13(2):158-161. 10.13004/kjnt.2017.13.2.158.

Proper Management of Posttraumatic Tension Pneumocephalus

  • 1Department of Neurosurgery, Yeouido St. Mary's Hospital, The Catholic University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. plo19@hanmail.net


Pneumocephalus is commonly seen after craniofacial injury. The pathogenesis of pneumocephalus has been debated as to whether it was caused by ball valve effect or combined episodic increased pressure within the nasopharynx on coughing. Discontinuous exchange of air and cerebrospinal fluid due to "inverted bottle" effect is assumed to be the cause of it. Delayed tension pneumocephalus is not common, but it requires an active management in order to prevent serious complication. We represent a clinical case of a 57-year-old male patient who fell down from 3 m height, complicated by tension pneumocephalus on 5 months after trauma. We recommend a surgical intervention, but the patient did not want that so we observe the patient. The patient was underwent seizure and meningitis after 7 months after trauma, he came on emergency room on stupor mentality. Tension pneumocephalus may result in a neurologic disturbance due to continued air entrainment and it significantly the likelihood of intracranial infection caused by continued open channel. Tension pneumocephalus threat a life, so need a neurosurgical emergency surgical intervention.


Cerebrospinal fluid leak; Head injury; Tension pneumocephalus
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