Case Reports
Journal Article
Add like
Add dislike
Add to saved papers

Cardiac herniation post left upper lobectomy and thymectomy: a case report.

BACKGROUND: Cardiac herniation occurs when there is a residual pericardial defect post thoracic surgery and is recognised as a rare but fatal complication. It confers a high mortality and requires immediate surgical correction upon recognition. We present a case of cardiac herniation occurring post thymectomy and left upper lobectomy.

CASE PRESENTATION: Initial presentation: A 48-year-old male, hypertensive smoker presented with progressive breathlessness and was found to have a left upper zone mass confirmed on CT biopsy as carcinoid of unclear origin. PET-CT revealed avidity in a left anterior mediastinal area, left upper lobe (LUL) lung mass, mediastinal lymph nodes, and a right thymic satellite nodule. Intraoperatively: Access via left thoracotomy and sternotomy. The LUL tumour involved the left thymic lobe (LTL), left superior pulmonary vein (LSPV), left phrenic nerve and intervening mediastinal fat and pericardium, which were resected en-masse. The satellite nodule in the right thymic lobe (RTL) was adjacent to the junction between the left innominate vein and superior vena cava (SVC). The pericardium was resected from the SVC to the left atrial appendage. Clinical deterioration: Initially the patient was doing well clinically on day 1, however there was sudden bradycardia, hypotension, clamminess, and oligoanuria, with raised central venous pressures and troponins. ECG: no capture in leads V1-2, but positive deflections seen on posterior leads. Echo: no acoustic windows, but good windows seen posteriorly. CXR: left mediastinal shift. Redo operation: After initial resuscitation and stabilisation on the intensive care unit, on day 2 a redo-sternotomy revealed cardiac herniation into the left thoracic cavity with the left ventricular apex pointing towards the spine, and inferior caval kinking. After reduction and repair of the pericardial defect with a fenestrated GoreTex patch, the patient recovered well with complete resolution of the ECG and CXR.

CONCLUSION: Cardiac herniation can even occur following sub-pneumonectomy lung resections and should be considered as a differential when faced with a sudden clinical deterioration, warranting early surgical correction.

Full text links

We have located links that may give you full text access.
Can't access the paper?
Try logging in through your university/institutional subscription. For a smoother one-click institutional access experience, please use our mobile app.

Related Resources

For the best experience, use the Read mobile app

Mobile app image

Get seemless 1-tap access through your institution/university

For the best experience, use the Read mobile app

All material on this website is protected by copyright, Copyright © 1994-2024 by WebMD LLC.
This website also contains material copyrighted by 3rd parties.

By using this service, you agree to our terms of use and privacy policy.

Your Privacy Choices Toggle icon

You can now claim free CME credits for this literature searchClaim now

Get seemless 1-tap access through your institution/university

For the best experience, use the Read mobile app