Jump to navigation Jump to search
Frontal chest X-ray. The air bubble below the right hemidiaphragm (on the left of the image) is a pneumoperitoneum.
ICD-10 K66.8
ICD-9 568.89, 770.2
DiseasesDB 31511
eMedicine radio/562 
MeSH D011027

WikiDoc Resources for Pneumoperitoneum


Most recent articles on Pneumoperitoneum

Most cited articles on Pneumoperitoneum

Review articles on Pneumoperitoneum

Articles on Pneumoperitoneum in N Eng J Med, Lancet, BMJ


Powerpoint slides on Pneumoperitoneum

Images of Pneumoperitoneum

Photos of Pneumoperitoneum

Podcasts & MP3s on Pneumoperitoneum

Videos on Pneumoperitoneum

Evidence Based Medicine

Cochrane Collaboration on Pneumoperitoneum

Bandolier on Pneumoperitoneum

TRIP on Pneumoperitoneum

Clinical Trials

Ongoing Trials on Pneumoperitoneum at Clinical

Trial results on Pneumoperitoneum

Clinical Trials on Pneumoperitoneum at Google

Guidelines / Policies / Govt

US National Guidelines Clearinghouse on Pneumoperitoneum

NICE Guidance on Pneumoperitoneum


FDA on Pneumoperitoneum

CDC on Pneumoperitoneum


Books on Pneumoperitoneum


Pneumoperitoneum in the news

Be alerted to news on Pneumoperitoneum

News trends on Pneumoperitoneum


Blogs on Pneumoperitoneum


Definitions of Pneumoperitoneum

Patient Resources / Community

Patient resources on Pneumoperitoneum

Discussion groups on Pneumoperitoneum

Patient Handouts on Pneumoperitoneum

Directions to Hospitals Treating Pneumoperitoneum

Risk calculators and risk factors for Pneumoperitoneum

Healthcare Provider Resources

Symptoms of Pneumoperitoneum

Causes & Risk Factors for Pneumoperitoneum

Diagnostic studies for Pneumoperitoneum

Treatment of Pneumoperitoneum

Continuing Medical Education (CME)

CME Programs on Pneumoperitoneum


Pneumoperitoneum en Espanol

Pneumoperitoneum en Francais


Pneumoperitoneum in the Marketplace

Patents on Pneumoperitoneum

Experimental / Informatics

List of terms related to Pneumoperitoneum

Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]


Pneumoperitoneum is air or gas in the abdominal (peritoneal) cavity[1], often seen on x-ray, but small amounts are often missed and CT is nowadays regarded as a criterion standard in the assessment of a pneumoperitoneum.[2].


The most common cause is a perforated abdominal viscus, generally a perforated ulcer, although any part of the bowel may perforate from a benign ulcer, tumor or trauma. A perforated appendix seldom causes a pneumoperitoneum. A pneumoperitoneum is deliberately created by the surgical team in order to perform laparoscopic surgery. This is achieved by insufflating the abdomen with carbon dioxide.

Subphrenic abscess, bowel interposed between diaphragm and liver (Chilaiditi syndrome), and linear atelectasis at the base of the lungs can simulate free air under the diaphragm on a chest x-ray.


Chest X-ray

Plain film signs of pneumoperitoneum

  • Rigler's sign (gas outlining both mucosal and serosal surfaces of bowel wall)
  • Falciform ligament sign (gas outlining the falciform ligament)
  • Football sign (gas outlining the peritoneal cavity)


CT can visualize quantities as small as 5 cm³ of air or gas.

See also


  1. The American Heritage Stedman's Medical Dictionary. "KMLE American Heritage Medical Dictionary definition of pneumoperitoneum".
  2. Ali Nawaz Khan. " Pneumoperitoneum".

Template:WH Template:WS