Emerg Med J doi:10.1136/emermed-2012-202196
  • Images in emergency medicine

Tension gastrothorax: a rare cause of breathlessness

  1. Andrew Savva
  1. Emergency Department, Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr James William Gagg, Emergency Department, Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, Taunton TA1 5DA, UK; james.gagg{at}
  • Received 10 December 2012
  • Revised 10 December 2012
  • Accepted 11 December 2012
  • Published Online First 8 January 2013

A 67-year-old lady presented to the emergency department with a 4 day history of breathlessness for which she had started clarithromycin. She had a history of a hiatal hernia repair in 1996 and had recently started inhalers for presumed chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Her pulse was 101 bpm, blood pressure 174/120 mm Hg, respiratory rate …