Torsion of right middle lobe after a right upper lobectomy
© Chen et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2009
Received: 27 March 2009
Accepted: 16 April 2009
Published: 16 April 2009
Lobar torsion after lung resection is a quite rare complication. A 50-year-old woman presented typical features on chest radiographs and CT(computed tomography) scan of lobar torsion after a right upper lobectomy. After emergency lobectomy of right middle lobe, the patient recovered well and discharged 10 days after the second operation.
Resection of right upper lobe is a common procedure in patients with lung cancer. Infrequently, the fissure between the middle lobe and lower lobe is well developed so that torsion of the middle lobe might occur during or after an operation, especially when pneumopexy is not performed.
Lobar torsion can occurred in traumatic, spontaneous and postoperative conditions. Its occurrence is quite rare . Prompt diagnosis of the torsion is quite difficult and must be differentiated from sputum impaction and lobar pneumonia. Because of the other 2 conditions may response well to chest physical therapy and effective antibiotic therapy respectively. The physical findings, including fever, tachycardia, dyspnea and decreased breath sounds, are not specific to make a diagnosis. The key steps are radiographic and bronchoscopic. Typical radiographic findings include homogenous consolidation in plain film and absence of contrast enhancement in the affected lobe on CT scan . A careful bronchoscopic examination may reveal abnormally tight and obstructed orifice of the affected lobe. Right middle lobe is by far the most common afftected lobe. Pneumopexy is a key procedure to prevent such complication.
Pneumopexy with the use of sutures to anchor the middle lobe to the lower lobe after a right upper lobectomy must be practiced in all cases to reduce the risk of lobar torsion, especially if the fissure is well developed.
Written informed consent was obtained from the patient for publication of this case report and any accompanying images. A copy of the written consent is available for review by the Editor-in-Chief of this journal.
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