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Revista médica de Chile

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PLATZER M, Lisbeth et al. Thyroid carcinoma as a cause of upper airway obstruction in children: Case report. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2006, vol.134, n.6, pp.772-776. ISSN 0034-9887.

Upper airway obstruction (UAO) can be a severe medical condition with a high mortality in children. We report a 10 year-old girl with UAO due to papillary thyroid carcinoma. The study confirmed a thyroid cancer. The patient was referred to our centre for the evaluation of dyspnea and hoarseness. She was admitted in severe respiratory distress. Her chest X-ray revealed a critical narrowing of the cervical trachea and extensive infiltration of the lung with a miliary pattern; CT scan revealed a thyroid mass with bilateral pulmonary dissemination. An early surgical approach with total thyroidectomy and tracheotomy was performed. The study revealed a thyroid carcinoma. The patient was then referred to a specialized centre to receive chemotherapy. Recognition of thyroid carcinoma in children requires a high suspicion index. An early CT scan and fiberoptic assessment could show UAO in many unsuspected lesions

Keywords : Airway obstruction; Thyroid neoplasms; Thyroidectomy.

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