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Retroaortic closure of thoracic duct in the management of persistent chylothorax: a case report

Francesco Paolo Caronia, Giuseppe Di Miceli, Andrea Macaluso, Damiano Librizzi, Francesco Sgalambro, Alfonso Fiorelli
Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery 2019 June 4, 14 (1): 100

BACKGROUND: Chylothorax is a life-threatening pathological condition associated with significant morbidity and mortality. If chyle leakage does not close spontaneously with medical therapy, surgical treatment is inevitable. Herein, we reported a case of spontaneous persistent chylothorax from mediastinal seminoma that was successfully closed between the descending thoracic aorta, and the vertebral column through a left mini-thoracotomy.

CASE PRESENTATION: A 24-year old man with mediastinal seminoma was referred to our attention for management of high output persistent chylothorax (> 800 ml/24 h for 30 days) that did not close with conservative treatment. As the leak was isolated within left upper chest cavity, we planned to close the thoracic duct via Poirier's triangle by uniportal thoracoscopy. However, the long conservative treatment favoured the formation of multiple, tenacious, and bleeding adhesions that made unfeasible thoracoscopy. A conversion to mini-thoracotomy was performed; by the incision of the posterior parietal pleura, the thoracic duct was isolated and ligated behind the thoracic aorta, in an anatomical space delimited by the 4th and the 5th posterior intercostal arteries and the vertebral column.

CONCLUSIONS: Complete resolution of chylothorax was obtained the day after. Patient was discharged on post-operative day 5, and no recurrence was observed during the follow-up.

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