A rare case of upper airway obstruction in an infant caused by basal encephalocele complicating facial midline deformity

T Shimizu, S Kitamura, K Kinouchi, K Fukumitsu
Paediatric Anaesthesia 1999, 9 (1): 73-6
A four-month-old male infant with basal encephalocele of the transsphenoidal type presented with upper airway obstruction and facial midline deformity, including cleft lip, cleft palate, hypertelorism and exophthalmos. Basal encephalocele is a rare disease, and usually not detectable from the outside. In this case, initially the cause of an upper airway obstruction was considered to be posterior rhinostenosis, and posterior rhinoplasty with inferior nasal conchectomy was scheduled. However, in preoperative examination, computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed a bony defect in the sphenoidal bone and a cystic mass in communication with cerebrospinal fluid, herniating into the nasal cavity through the bony defect. The mass was diagnosed as a transsphenoidal encephalocele, the scheduled operation cancelled, and tracheostomy performed for airway management. The possibility of basal encephalocele should be considered in the case of upper airway obstruction with facial midline deformity.

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