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Fatal pulmonary embolism developing after tympanoplasty: a case report and incidence of pulmonary embolism at Toyooka Hospital

Fatal pulmonary embolism developing after tympanoplasty: a case report and incidence of pulmonary embolism at Toyooka Hospital

Nihon Jibiinkoka Gakkai Kaiho 104(3): 212-215

We report a case of fatal pulmonary embolism (PE) developing after tympanoplasty. A 69-year-old woman underwent type III tympanoplasty for a middle ear cholesteatoma under general anesthesia. Operating time was 3 hours 27 minutes and anesthesia lasted 5 hours 9 minutes. The next morning, 14 hours 5 minutes after returning to the recovery room, the patient lost consciousness while getting out of bed. Although consciousness recovered transiently, she went into shock with cardiopulmonary arrest. Heart beat was regained after resuscitation with artificial respiration and cardiac massage, but her blood pressure was unstable. Echocardiography revealed right ventricular overload and pulmonary hypertension. Because PE was suspected, thrombolytic therapy was conducted to stabilize hemodynamics. Enhanced computed tomography (CT) of the chest showed bilateral pulmonary thromboembolism. The patient died of hypoxic encephalopathy 23 days after PE onset. We have seen 40 cases of PE at our hospital in the last 70 months. Five patients developed PE after surgery with a postoperative occurrence rate of 0.03% (5/16, 277), and 3 of them died. Enhanced CT in 19 of 21 cases (90.5%) before or just after the start of therapy for PE was useful in establishing the diagnosis. Although PE is rare in the field of otolaryngology and head and neck surgery, it may develop rapidly after any type of surgery resulting in a fatal outcome. It is thus important to establish diagnosis early and prevent such serious complications.

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Accession: 046079344

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PMID: 11305052

DOI: 10.3950/jibiinkoka.104.212

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