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THE JOURNAL OF CARDIOVASCULAR SURGERY

A Journal on Cardiac, Vascular and Thoracic Surgery


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The Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery 2007 June;48(3):385-7

language: English

Pneumocephalus after Pancoast’s tumor surgery: to be or not to be conservative?

Scanagatta P.1, Leo F.1, Veronesi G.1, Solli P.1, Gasparri R.1, Galetta D.1, Petrella F. 1, Borri A.1 Spaggiari L. 1, 2

1 Thoracic Surgery Division European Institute of Oncology, Milan, Italy
2 School of Medicine University of Milan, Milan


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We report a case of a 62-year-old man affected by Pancoast’s tumor who developed pneumocephalus 17 days after right upper lobectomy with en bloc resection of the first three ribs and C8-D1 branches of the brachial plexus. The patient complained of aphasia, disorientation and sphincterial release. A chest and brain-CT scan showed a right apical pneumothorax associated with a massive pneumocephalus of the ventricles and of the subarachnoidal spaces. A pneumoperitoneum was also seen. The patient was treated using pleural drainages, Trendelenburg’s position and antibiotic therapy. Clinical and radiological remission was achieved after 12 days of additional hospital stay.

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