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Nasopharyngeal diffuse large B-cells lymphoma causing acute airway obstruction amid COVID-19 crisis: an anaesthetist’s nightmare
  1. Tat Boon Yeap1,
  2. Ming Kai Teah2,
  3. Yen Ju Joanne Quay2 and
  4. Melvin Teck Fui Wong2
  1. 1 Medicine Based Disciplines Department, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
  2. 2 Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Unit, Hospital Queen Elizabeth, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Tat Boon Yeap; boontat{at}


Acute stridor is often an airway emergency. We present a valuable experience handling an elderly woman who was initially treated as COVID-19 positive during the pandemic in November 2020. She needed an urgent tracheostomy due to nasopharyngeal (NP) diffuse large B-cell lymphoma causing acute airway obstruction. Fortunately, 1 hour later, her NP swab real-time PCR test result returned as SARS-CoV-2 negative. This interesting article depicts the importance of adequate preparations when handling potentially infectious patients with anticipated difficult airway and the perioperative issues associated with it.

  • anaesthesia
  • infections
  • ear
  • nose and throat/otolaryngology

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  • Contributors TBY, MTFW and YJJQ are the managing anaesthetists for this case. MKT is the coauthor of this manuscript.

  • 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.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

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