Home | About Us | Current Issue | Ahead of print | Archives | Search | Instructions | Subscription | Feedback | Editorial Board | e-Alerts | Login 
Journal of Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons
     Journal of Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons
Official journal of the Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons         
 Users Online:345 
  Print this page Email this page   Small font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font size
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 115-122

Spontaneous pneumoperitoneum in pediatric patients: Dilemmas in Management

Department of Paediatric Surgery, SMS Medical College, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Rahul Gupta
Department of Paediatric Surgery, Kota Medical College, Kota, Rajasthan
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jiaps.JIAPS_221_17

Rights and Permissions

Context: Pneumoperitoneum is typically a surgical emergency, particularly in neonates. However, pneumoperitoneum can rarely present without gastrointestinal perforation which is known as spontaneous pneumoperitoneum. Aims: This study aims to analyze the outcome of pediatric patients with spontaneous pneumoperitoneum and describe our experience. Settings and Design: A retrospective study performed from January 2014 to May 2017. Materials and Methods: The study included all pediatric patients admitted in a tertiary care institute. Results: There were 9 patients with 5 males and 4 females, out of which 7 were neonates. At presentation, respiratory distress was a common complaint (8/9). 5 out of all patients developed abdominal distension. Associated malformations were seen in 5 patients. Pneumoperitoneum was preceded by mechanical ventilation in 5 patients. Abdominal examination revealed soft distension with relaxed abdominal wall in 7, while marked distension was present in 2 cases. Features suggestive of peritonitis were absent in all the patients. Abdominal radiographs revealed free air in all, while, radiographic evidence of pneumothorax was seen in 2 patients. Conservative management without any operative intervention was performed in 3 patients with favorable outcome. Laparotomy was performed in 1 patient; negative for any perforation and outcome was unfavorable. In 5 patients, abdominocentesis was performed followed by abdominal drain placement. No patient had any evidence of leakage of intestinal contents from gastrointestinal tract after insertion of abdominal drain. Favorable outcome was present in 5 patients. Out of 4 cases with unfavorable outcome, 3 patients were having esophageal atresia. Conclusions: A high index of suspicion for spontaneous pneumoperitoneum must be present when dealing with pediatric patients, especially neonates with pneumoperitoneum and without clinical signs of peritonitis. A comprehensive clinical evaluation with sepsis screen must be carried out to supplement the diagnosis. Pneumoperitoneum in pediatric patients, especially neonates, is not always an absolute indication for surgery.


Print this article     Email this article
 Next article
 Previous article
 Table of Contents

 Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
 Citation Manager
 Access Statistics
 Reader Comments
 Email Alert *
 Add to My List *
 * Requires registration (Free)

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded193    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal


Contact us | Sitemap | Advertise | What's New | Copyright and Disclaimer 

  2005 - Journal of Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow 

Online since 1st May '05