Pneumoperitoneum and Its Association With Ruptured Abdominal Viscus

Thomas G. Winek, MD; H. Steven Mosely, MD; Gordon Grout, MD; David Luallin, MD
Arch Surg. 1988;123(6):709-712. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1988.01400300051008.
Text Size: A A A
Published online

• Pneumoperitoneum is not invariably associated with ruptured or perforated intra-abdominal viscus. To determine the incidence of free air associated with intra-abdominal viscus perforation, the medical records of 77 consecutive patients whose discharge or autopsy diagnosis included pneumoperitoneum or perforated viscus at a community hospital were retrospectively reviewed between June 1980 and October 1985. Abdominal viscus perforation, as determined by contrast studies or at operation, was not invariably associated with free air. Sixty-nine percent (23/33) of gastroduodenal, 30% (3/10) of small-bowel, and 37% (11/30) of large-bowel perforations had free air, as determined by preoperative x-ray film. Four cases with a total of six episodes of pneumoperitoneum were identified where viscus perforation was not documented. Pneumoperitoneum thus remains a reliable sign of viscus perforation; however, lack of this finding does not rule out perforation, and unusual causes must be considered.

(Arch Surg 1988;123:709-712)


Sign In to Access Full Content

Don't have Access?

Register and get free email Table of Contents alerts, saved searches, PowerPoint downloads, CME quizzes, and more

Subscribe for full-text access to content from 1998 forward and a host of useful features

Activate your current subscription (AMA members and current subscribers)

Purchase Online Access to this article for 24 hours





Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).
Submit a Comment


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Sign In to Access Full Content

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.