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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


A 17-Year-Old Girl with a Recent History of Marijuana Use Presented with Pneumomediastinum and Pneumopericardium and Tested Positive for SARS-CoV-2 Infection on Hospital Admission

Unusual clinical course

Hamza Hassan Khan, Alina Witkowski, Jeff A. Clark, Angela Mata

USA Department of Pediatrics, Ascension St. John Children’s Hospital, Detroit, MI, USA

Am J Case Rep 2021; 22:e931800

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.931800

Available online: 2021-05-12

Published: 2021-06-16


BACKGROUND: Pneumomediastinum and pneumopericardium have been reported to occur in people who regularly smoke marijuana and have also been reported in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia due to infection with SARS-CoV-2. This report is of a 17-year-old girl with a history of marijuana use who presented with pneumomediastinum and pneumopericardium and was found to be positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection on hospital admission by Abbott ID NOW testing.
CASE REPORT: A 17-year-old girl presented to the emergency room with a 3-day history of abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting and a 1-day history of diarrhea. She had a history of daily marijuana use and lived with her grandmother who was presumed to be positive for COVID-19, based on symptoms. Her admission laboratory results were unremarkable except for pyuria, which was suspicious for urinary tract infection. The patient’s nasopharyngeal swab was positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection. Owing to abdominal pain, a computed tomography (CT) scan of the abdomen and pelvis was obtained, which was concerning for pneumomediastinum and pneumopericardium. A CT scan of the thorax confirmed the findings. A contrast-enhanced barium esophagogram was performed and was unremarkable. The patient was admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit for observation and supportive care.
CONCLUSIONS: This report shows the importance of current testing for SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients of all ages who present acutely to the hospital. It also highlights the importance of obtaining a full social and medical history so that symptoms and signs from causes other than SARS-CoV-2 infection are not missed.

Keywords: COVID-19, Intensive Care Units, Pediatric, Pediatrics, Pneumomediastinum, Diagnostic, Pneumopericardium, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, marijuana use, case reports