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Korean J Anesthesiol. 2012 Jul;63(1):65-67. English. Case Report.
Lee YC , Park SJ , Kim IS .
Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, College of Medicine, Yeungnam University, Daegu, Korea.
Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, School of Medicine, Keimyung University, Daegu, Korea.

Biopsy, using mediastinoscopy is commonly employed for accurate histologic diagnosis of a mediastinal mass. However, since the mass is not removed during the procedure, it may cause compression of vital structures such as major airways, the heart, the pulmonary artery, and the superior vena cava after surgery. We observed a case of a 66-year-old man with a mediastinal mass that caused severe airway obstruction during recovery from anesthesia following mediastinoscopic biopsy, probably caused by upper airway edema which seemed to originate from compression of the superior vena cava. Therefore, we suggest that unexpected airway obstruction in a patient with a mediastinal mass can be due to superior vena cava compression.

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