A case of boerhaave's syndrome presenting as diffuse left pulmonary infiltrate

Demetrios N. Kyriacou*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


A case of spontaneous esophageal rupture (Boerhaave's syndrome) is presented. The patient was referred from an outside hospital emergency department to Los Angeles County/University of Southern California Medical Center with a history of acute left-sided chest pain immediately after an episode of forceful vomiting. An upright chest radiograph revealed a left hydropneumothorax. The diagnosis of Boerhaave's syndrome was confirmed with the placement of a chest tube and extraction of serosanguinous fluid and partially digested food particles from the left hemithorax. The patient underwent surgical repair and was discharged from the hospital in good condition. Boerhaave's syndrome is extremely rare. The predominant symptoms of chest pain and dyspnea also are found in many common disease entities, making early diagnosis difficult. Delay in diagnosis and treatment results in substantial morbidity and mortality. This case exemplifies the importance of obtaining an upright chest radiograph to make a prompt diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1239-1242
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of Emergency Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1991


  • Boerhaave's syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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