Isolated tension pneumoperitoneum following endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration complicated by cardiac peri-arrest: A case report

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Piergiorgio Muriana *
Angelo Carretta
Paola Ciriaco
Francesca Rossetti
Giampiero Negri
(*) Corresponding Author:
Piergiorgio Muriana |


Transbronchial needle aspiration under endobronchial ultrasound guidance (EBUS-TBNA) is recommended for the diagnosis and staging of lung cancer. Major complications following EBUS-TBNA are uncommon. We report a case of isolated tension pneumoperitoneum following EBUS-TBNA under deep sedation in an 80-year-old male patient affected by a right hilar mass suspicious for lung cancer. At the end of the procedure, the patient suddenly manifested desaturation, severe bradycardia and hypotension, and abdominal distension. After resuscitation, in the suspect of intraperitoneal free air, needle decompression led to respiratory and hemodynamic improvement. A total body CT-scan showed isolated pneumoperitoneum without signs of gastrointestinal perforation, confirmed by a subsequent upper digestive contrast study. The patient recovered well without the need of surgical exploration. Isolated tension pneumoperitoneum can be an exceptional complication of EBUS-TBNA; a conservative treatment can avoid unnecessary surgery in the absence of peritonism.

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Author Biography

Piergiorgio Muriana, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Department of Thoracic Surgery

Department of Thoracic Surgery