Spontaneous Pneumoperitoneum in a Newborn

Priya Shivalli, Kamasani Hemachandra Reddy, Subbanna Lingaraju, Maneesha Pandurang Halkar


In neonates, pneumoperitoneum is an acute surgical emergency that has detrimental implications, and swift surgical intervention is needed to ensure survival. The most common cause of pneumoperitoneum in neonates is necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) that causes perforations in the gut. However, we need to be aware of an entity called nonsurgical, asymptomatic, benign, spontaneous, or idiopathic pneumoperitoneum. This can be quite confusing/misleading to the clinicians. Optimum knowledge of this entity might reduce the surgical intervention on an otherwise normal neonate with an unexplained pneumoperitoneum.

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