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J Thorac Dis. 2013 Apr;5(2):E38-40. doi: 10.3978/j.issn.2072-1439.2012.07.11.

Boerhaave's syndrome and tension pneumothorax secondary to Norovirus induced forceful emesis.

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Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark.


Boerhaave's syndrome or spontaneous esophageal perforation is a rare condition, with high mortality. We describe a case of Boerhaave's syndrome presenting with tension pneumothorax. The patient was infected with Norovirus and developed Boerhaave's syndrome, initially thought to be gastroenteritis but later developing with tension pneumothorax, and mediastinitis caused by esophageal perforation. The patient was treated with thoracotomy with primary suture and oesophageal stent placement. He had a long period of recovery and was discharged after 98 days. Boerhaaves syndrome is often delayed and must be considered in any patient with respiratory symptoms and a recent history of vomiting.


Boerhaave’s syndrome; norovirus; spontaneous oesophageal perforation; tension pneumothorax

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