Two cases of pneumatoceles in mechanically ventilated infants

Mohammed Al-Ghafri*, Said Al-Hanshi, Suad Al-Ismaily

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Pulmonary pneumatocele is a thin-walled, gas-filled space within the lung that usually occurs in association with bacterial pneumonia and is usually transient. The majority of pneumatoceles resolve spontaneously without active intervention, but in some cases they might lead to pneumothorax with subsequent hemodynamic instability. We report two cases presented to the pediatric intensive care unit at the Royal Hospital, Oman with pneumatoceles. The first was a 14-day-old baby who underwent surgical repair of total anomalous pulmonary venous connection (TAPVC) requiring extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) support following surgery. He was initially on conventional mechanical ventilation. Seven days after the surgery, he started to develop bilateral pneumatoceles. The pneumatoceles were not regressing and they did not respond to three weeks of conservative management with high-frequency oscillation ventilation (HFOV). He failed four attempts of weaning from HFOV to conventional ventilation. Each time he was developing tachypnea and carbon dioxide retention. Percutaneous intercostal chest drain (ICD) insertion was needed to evacuate one large pneumatocele. Subsequently, he improved and we were able to wean and extubate him. The second case was a two-monthold male admitted with severe respiratory distress secondary to respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) pneumonitis. After intubation, he required a high conventional ventilation setting and within 24 hours he was on HFOV. Conservative management with HFOV was sufficient to treat the pneumatoceles and no further intervention was needed. Our cases demonstrate two different approaches in the management of pneumatoceles in mechanically ventilated children. Each approach was case dependent and could not be used interchangeably.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-302
Number of pages4
JournalOman Medical Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiopulmonary bypass
  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation
  • High frequency oscillation ventilation
  • Respiratory syncytial virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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