Preoperative marijuana inhalation--an airway concern

Can J Anaesth. 1996 Jul;43(7):691-3. doi: 10.1007/BF03017953.


Purpose: Cannabis Sativa (marijuana) may cause a variety of respiratory disorders including uvular oedema. This case illustrates that uvular oedema secondary to marijuana inhalation may cause a potentially serious postoperative clinical problem.

Clinical features: A healthy 17-yr-old man who inhaled marijuana prior to general anaesthesia. In the recovery room, after an uneventful general anaesthetic, acute uvular oedema resulted in post operative airway obstruction and admission to hospital. The uvular oedema was treated successfully with dexamethasone.

Conclusion: Recent inhalation of marijuana before general anaesthesia may cause acute uvular oedema and post operative airway obstruction. The uvular oedema can be easily diagnosed and treated.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Adolescent
  • Cannabis*
  • Edema / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology*
  • Uvula*