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Acute airway obstruction due to benign multinodular goitre
  1. Teresa Dias1,
  2. Arsénio Santos1,
  3. Carlos Mesquita2 and
  4. Rui M Santos1
  1. 1 Internal Medicine, Centro Hospitalar e Universitario de Coimbra EPE, Coimbra, Portugal
  2. 2 Surgery, Centro Hospitalar e Universitario de Coimbra EPE, Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal
  1. Correspondence to Dr Teresa Dias, teresa.dias00{at}


Benign multinodular goitre is a common illness. When accompanied by obstructive symptoms, such as dyspnoea, it carries an indication for surgery. Benign multinodular goitres rarely cause acute airway obstruction. We report the case of a 88-year-old woman who presented with acute shortness of breath and stridor. A chest CT revealed marked enlargement of the thyroid gland, with an extensive intrathoracic component. She was proposed for total thyroidectomy. Her intraoperative course was unremarkable, but the patient passed away in postoperative period from ventricular fibrillation. Recognition of these cases is important, as they constitute a preventable cause of mortality if timely diagnosed and treated.

  • thyroid disease
  • respiratory medicine
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  • Contributors TD was responsible for data collection, literature review, writing of the manuscript and submitted the manuscript for publication. AS, CM and RMS provided the intellectual concept and critical revision of the article and final approval of the published version.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

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