Reference : Spontaneous tracheal rupture: a case report
Scientific journals : Article
Human health sciences : Surgery
Spontaneous tracheal rupture: a case report
Rousie, Céline [Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Liège - CHU > > Chirurgie cardio-vasculaire >]
Van Damme, Hendrik [Université de Liège - ULg > Département des sciences cliniques > Département des sciences cliniques]
Radermecker, Maurice mailto [Université de Liège - ULg > Services généraux (Faculté de médecine) > Relations académiques et scientifiques (Médecine) >]
Reginster, P. [> > > >]
Tecqmenne, C. [> > > >]
Limet, Raymond mailto [Université de Liège - ULg > Département des sciences cliniques > Chirurgie cardio-vasculaire et thoracique]
Acta Chirurgica Belgica
Acta Medical Belgica
Yes (verified by ORBi)
[en] tracheal rupture ; complications of intubation ; corticosteroids ; tracheal lesion ; tracheal laceration
[en] We report the case of a spontaneous posterior tracheal wall rupture following a cough. A 67-year-old woman with a history of longstanding treatment with corticosteroids (8 years) for Giant Cell Arteritis had general anesthesia for cataract removal. Surgery and anesthesia were uneventful. In the recovery room, the patient coughed and soon after developed subcutaneous emphysema of the neck. Chest radiography confirmed the clinical diagnosis of marked subcutaneous emphysema and showed huge pneumomediastinum and minor right pneumothorax. A thoracic CT scan revealed a large laceration of the posterior tracheal wall (a 4 cm longitudinal tear), extending from the middle of the trachea to the level of the carina. Surgical repair consisted in closure of the dilaceration using an autologous pericardial patch. It seems reasonable to suspect the facilitating role of connective tissue fragility due to chronic corticosteroid administration in the development of this tracheal rupture following cough. Tracheal rupture is a potentially lethal injury, which can be repaired successfully if the diagnosis is made early. Risk factors, diagnosis and principles of treatment of this lesion are discussed.

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