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

Copyright © 2007 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

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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