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Benign cervical multi-nodular goiter presenting with acute airway obstruction: a case report

Anu Sharma, Vijay Naraynsingh* and Surujpaul Teelucksingh

Author Affiliations

Faculty of the Medical Sciences, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad & Tobago

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Journal of Medical Case Reports 2010, 4:258  doi:10.1186/1752-1947-4-258

Published: 10 August 2010



Benign cervical goiters rarely cause acute airway obstruction.

Case presentation

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.