When anesthetizing a patient with an anterior mediastinal mass, sudden hypoxaemia and cardiovascular collapse may result from compression of a large airway or vascular structure in the mediastinum. We report the case of a pediatric cancer patient with an anterior mediastinal mass, who developed sudden and fatal hypoxaemia and cardiovascular collapse in the hours following sedation. A massive pulmonary thromboembolism was diagnosed at autopsy. We suggest that pulmonary embolism should be considered in the differential diagnosis when a patient with a mediastinal mass develops perioperative hypoxaemia, cardiovascular collapse, or both.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health