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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 106-108

Colonic perforation revealed by massive subcutaneous emphysema

1 Medico-Surgical Intensive Care Department, Versailles Hospital, Le Chesnay Cedex, Paris, France
2 INSERM U970, Paris Cardiovascular Research Center, European Hospital Georges Pompidou, Paris, France

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sylvain Diop
Medico-Surgical Intensive Care Department, Versailles Hospital, 177 Rue de Versailles, 78150 Le Chesnay Cedex,
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/IJCIIS.IJCIIS_24_20

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We present the case of an 82-year-old woman admitted in the intensive care unit with a septic shock caused by a liver abscess. She underwent an emergency laparotomy for abscess drainage and microbiological sampling. In the early postoperative period, she developed a massive subcutaneous emphysema (SE) extending from the abdomen to the head, without obvious cause. A surgical complication was suspected; thus, the patient underwent a second laparotomy which revealed a perforated peritonitis. SE is a rare presentation of perforated peritonitis, which should be known by critical care physicians in order to avoid a misdiagnosis of this life-threatening pathology.

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