Intestinal cystic pneumatosis: a rare entity


  • Gloria Guzmán-Argüello Departament of General Surgery, Hospital Regional Licenciado Adolfo López Mateos, México
  • Jorge Silva-Zamora Departament of General Surgery, Hospital Regional Licenciado Adolfo López Mateos, México
  • Israel Salgado-Adame Departament of General Surgery, Hospital Regional Licenciado Adolfo López Mateos, México



Cystic pneumatosis, Pneumatosis, Abdominal pain


Pneumatosis intestinalis is the presence of gas within the wall of the gastrointestinal tract. The gas forms bubbles containing nitrogen, hydrogen and carbon dioxide in most cases is intramural. Many factors are associated with this entity such as bacterial gas production (Clostridium difficile), increased intraluminal pressure (vomiting), mucosal injury (inflammatory bowel disease and immunosuppression), pulmonary gas (pulmonary obstruction and chronic cough) and combination of factors. The most frequent symptom is abdominal pain however physical examination is not very helpful in the diagnosis, the reason why computed tomography is the best imaging modality for this disease. The treatment depends in the underlying cause and is debated.


St Peter SD, Abbas MA, Kelly KA. The spectrum of pneumatosis intestinalis. Arch Surg. 2003;138:68-75.

Pascual Migueláñez I, Fernández Luengas D, Martínez Alegre J, Lima Pinto F, Torres Jiménez J. Características del neumoperitoneo por neumatosis quística intestinal. Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2015;38(4):282-3.

Nathan H, Singhal S, Cameron JL. Benign pneumatosis intestinalis in the setting of celiac disease. J Gastrointest Surg. 2006;10(6):890-4.

Sánchez-Rodríguez JJ, Utrillas-Martínez AC, San Antón-Beranoaguirre J, Moreno-Olivieri AA, Del Val-Gil JM. Neumatosis quística intestinal: reporte de un caso. Cirugía y Cirujanos. 2019;86(4).

Wu LL. A systematic analysis of pneumatosis cystoids intestinalis. World J Gastroenterol. 2013;19(30):4973.

Napolitano L, Waku M, Maggi G, Ciarelli F. Cystic intestinal pneumatosis of the small gut: Etiopathogenesis and review of literature. Ann Ital Chir. 2018;7:S2239253X18028153.

Ling F, Guo D, Zhu L. Pneumatosis cystoides intestinalis: a case report and literature review. BMC Gastroenterol. 2019;19(1):176.

Parra M, Pérez CO, Pérez RO, Martinez IL, Valverde JJ, Romero MB. Pneumoperitoneum secondary to non-specific intestinal cystic pneumatosis: A case report. Int J Health Sci (Qassim). 2021;15(6):47-9.

Martín-Lagos Maldonado A, Lozano Cejudo C, Sáenz Lozano A. A pneumoperitoneum due to intestinal cystic pneumatosis associated with a tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Rev Esp Enferm Dig. 2018;110(8):531-2.

Medgyesy K, Trifonova R, Bevington T, Tadros M. Pneumatosis Intestinalis: To Biopsy or Not to Biopsy? Cureus. 2020;12(12):e12140.




How to Cite

Guzmán-Argüello, G., Silva-Zamora, J., & Salgado-Adame, I. (2022). Intestinal cystic pneumatosis: a rare entity. International Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, 10(11), 2651–2653.



Case Reports