X-ray showing nasal and orbital fractures and pneumocephalusPneumocephalus is the presence of air in the cranial vault. It is usually associated with neurosurgery, barotrauma, basilar skull fractures, sinus fractures, nasopharyngeal tumor invasion and meningitis.Headache and altered consciousness are the most common symptoms.
Tension pneumocephalus can occur and is a neurosurgical emergency.Plain X-rays can diagnose pneumocephalus, but CT scan is the diagnostic modality of choice.A classical CT sign of tension pneumocephalus is the “Mount Fuji sign”: the massive accumulation of air that separates and compresses both frontal lobes and mimics the profile of the large volcano in Japan.
Large right pneumocephalus compressing right frontal lobe and widening interhemispheric space. There are also air bubbles in basal cisterns and cerebellar fissures bilaterally
Most cases of pneumocephalus resolve spontaneously, and conservative management should be provided. Nonoperative management involves oxygen therapy, keeping the head of the bed elevated, prophylactic antimicrobial therapy (especially in post-traumatic cases), analgesia, frequent neurologic checks and repeated CT scans.