Benign cervical multi-nodular goiter presenting with acute airway obstruction: a case report
Faculty of the Medical Sciences, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad & Tobago
Journal of Medical Case Reports 2010, 4:258 doi:10.1186/1752-1947-4-258Published: 10 August 2010
Benign cervical goiters rarely cause acute airway obstruction.
We report the case of a 64-year-old woman of African descent who presented with acute shortness of breath. She required immediate intubation and later a total thyroidectomy for a benign cervical multi-nodular goiter with no retrosternal tracheal compression.
Benign multi-nodular goiters are commonly left untreated once euthyroid. Peak inspiratory flow rates should be measured via spirometry in all goiters to assess the degree of tracheal compression. Once tracheal compression is identified, an elective total thyroidectomy should be performed to prevent morbidity and mortality from acute airway obstruction.