Acute Respiratory Distress after Knee Arthroplasty Due to Undiagnosed Atrial Myxoma


Acute postoperative respiratory distress may be caused by pneumonia, pulmonary embolism, heart failure, pneumothorax or atelectasis. We present s case report of a 78-year-old female patient who developed acute respiratory distress one day following knee arthroscopy. Because of the suspicion of pulmonary embolism, a computed tomographic angiography was made, showing the presence of an unexpected large left atrial mass, suggestive for a myxoma. She underwent successful resection of a 10 × 5 cm myxoma one week later. The report discusses the clinical manifestations of an atrial myxoma and its potentially fast growth. Bedside echocardiography should be considered the preferred diagnostic modality in case of acute postoperative respiratory distress.

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Z. Khan, B. Yang, H. Mallidi and P. Starre, "Acute Respiratory Distress after Knee Arthroplasty Due to Undiagnosed Atrial Myxoma," Open Journal of Anesthesiology, Vol. 2 No. 3, 2012, pp. 90-92. doi: 10.4236/ojanes.2012.23021.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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