Mediastinal tumors - Airway obstruction and management

Cora and Webb Manning Department of Surgery, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX.
Seminars in Pediatric Surgery (Impact Factor: 2.22). 12/1994; 3(4):259-66.
Source: PubMed


Large mediastinal massess can cause compression of surrounding mediastinal structures. Patients may have symptoms of airway obstruction or cardiovascular compromise. The additive effects of anesthetics, paralysis, and positioning during biopsy can lead to acute airway obstruction and death. In some cases, tissue diagnosis can be achieved and treatment initiated without general anesthesia. When general anesthesia is necessary, specific measures should be taken to avoid disaster or immediately alleviate obstruction should it occur. Some patients at greatest risk will require pretreatment of the mass before tissue diagnosis. This article reviews these issues and provides a useful algorithm for managing patients with mediastinal masses.

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