Pneumopericardium is a rare condition, most frequently reported in connection with prolonged artificial ventilation in infants with hyaline membrane disease. No reports of pneumopericardium after pulmonary surgery have been published. Two cases of pneumopericardium are reported, one of tension pneumopericardium after pneumonectomy and artificial ventilation and one that followed radical lobectomy and artificial ventilation. The radiographic findings included pneumopericardium and subcutaneous emphysema and the patient who had had a pneumonectomy had severe symptoms of cardiac tamponade. Prolonged artificial ventilation in patients after pulmonary surgery and in the presence of an intrathoracic air leak may be a hazard. The importance of prompt surgical intervention in cases of tension pneumopericardium is underlined; the treatment of choice is thoracotomy with pericardiotomy.
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