Pneumoperitoneum — a rare complication of cardiopulmonary resuscitation


Dept. of Intensive Care, University Hospital Antwerp-U.I.A., Wilrijkstraat 10, B2520 Edegem, Belgium


Pneumoperitoneum following cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) results from a thoracic air leak (pneumothorax, pneumomediastinum) with escape of the air through diaphragmatic apertures (mostly foramen of Winslow) or primary perforation of the gastrointestinal tract (stomach or esophagus). We report three cases of pneumoperitoneum complicating CPR. As there was no clinical evidence of peritonitis, and the patients remained stable, a conservative approach was followed without surgical exploration. All patients recovered completely.