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VOLUME 24 , ISSUE 7 ( July, 2020 ) > List of Articles


High-flow Nasal Cannula-induced Tension Pneumocephalus

Youjin Chang, Tae-Gyu Kim, Sun-Yoon Chung

Citation Information : Chang Y, Kim T, Chung S. High-flow Nasal Cannula-induced Tension Pneumocephalus. Indian J Crit Care Med 2020; 24 (7):592-595.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10071-23482

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 22-11-2020

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2020; The Author(s).


High-flow nasal cannula (HFNC) therapy has been established as a promising oxygen treatment with various advantages for respiratory mechanics. One of the main mechanisms is to provide positive airway pressure. This effect could reduce lung injury and improve oxygenation; conversely, it may cause a complication of positive pressure ventilation. However, data are scarce regarding the possible adverse effects, particularly in adults. We report a patient who developed HFNC-induced tension pneumocephalus from an unrecognized skull base fracture. Physicians should be cautious when applying HFNC to patients with suspected skull base or paranasal sinus fracture, especially when applying a higher flow rate.

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