Three patients had pneumatosis intestinalis. The first suffered from recurrent intestinal obstruction; pneumatosis intestinalis developed with the deterioration of his condition. The second patient was admitted for abdominal pain; pneumoperitoneum was an incidental finding on routine x-ray films of the abdomen, and a diagnosis of pneumatosis intestinalis was made by excluding the possibility of the other disorders that cause pneumoperitoneum. In the third case the disease was diagnosed at autopsy.
A mechanical factor alone does not seem sufficient to produce intestinal cysts and an additional factor, a mucosal permeability change, is apparently needed to cause appearance of the disease.