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VOLUME 18 , ISSUE 12 ( December, 2014 ) > List of Articles


Acute airway obstruction due to spontaneous intrathyroid hemorrhage precipitated by anticoagulation therapy

Penchala Mittadodla, Laxmi Kokatnur, Mohan Rudrappa

Keywords : Airway obstruction, anticoagulation, hyperthyroidism, substernal goitre, thyroid hemorrhage

Citation Information : Mittadodla P, Kokatnur L, Rudrappa M. Acute airway obstruction due to spontaneous intrathyroid hemorrhage precipitated by anticoagulation therapy. Indian J Crit Care Med 2014; 18 (12):825-827.

DOI: 10.4103/0972-5229.146324

License: CC BY-ND 3.0

Published Online: 01-03-2009

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2014; The Author(s).


Acute airway compromise due to hemorrhage in of thyroid gland is a rare life-hreating condition. The increasing use of anticoagulants for various reasons is likely increased the occurrence of this this complication. We describe an elderly patient on anticoagulation for atrial fibrillation, which developed swelling on the right side of neck causing acute airway obstruction requiring emergency intubation for airway protection. Computed tomographic scan showed massive intrathyroid hemorrhage along with substernal extension. She had supratherapeutic INR which was appropriately corrected emergently. She underwent resection of the thyroid gland which showed multinodular goiter without any evidence of malignancy. Our case illustrates the rare but lethal bleeding complication of anticoagulants in critical anatomical area and we request physicians should be wary of similar conditions.

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