GJLP / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GJLP / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Abdominal air pockets. X-ray showing air in the abdomen (dark spaces below thin white arches, bottom right and left), a condition known as pneumoperitoneum. The light bands in upper frame are the ribs, which encase the lungs (black). The mass at centre to centre right is the heart. The air pockets are trapped below the diaphragm. The most common causes of pneumoperitoneum are gas escaping from a perforated bowel and suction of air through the female genital tract. Pneumoperitoneum is treated by removal of the air and repair of the underlying problem.
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