Introduction: Pneumocephalus (PNC) is most commonly associated with trauma or intracranial surgery, less commonly secondary to an infectious source, and is rarely caused by barotrauma.
Case report: A 32-year-old woman presented to the emergency department with complaint of resolved left-sided facial droop and a lingering paresthesia of her left upper extremity after a cross-country flight. Computed tomography demonstrated several foci of air in the subdural space consistent with PNC.
Conclusion: For PNC to occur there must be a persistent negative intracranial pressure gradient, with or without an extracranial pressure change. In this case the pressure change occurred due to cabin pressure.
Recommended CitationSanjeevan-Cabeza, Irina and Oakland, Morgan, "Pneumocephalus and Facial Droop on an Airplane: A Case Report" (2020). Department of Emergency Medicine Faculty Papers. Paper 117.
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