Piriform fossa perforation during attempted tracheal intubation

Anaesthesia. 1987 May;42(5):519-21. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2044.1987.tb04044.x.


Perforation of the piriform fossa is a rare complication of attempted tracheal intubation. The consequences vary from cervical emphysema to respiratory distress, mediastinitis, septic shock, empyema pyopneumothorax and death. The mortality rate due to mediastinitis is over 50%, so early diagnosis and management can improve survival. This case report describes one case and discusses the diagnosis and management of this complication.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Abscess / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / adverse effects*
  • Mediastinal Diseases / etiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Pharynx / injuries*
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology