An unusual complication of emergency tracheal intubation

Anaesthesia. 1997 Feb;52(2):154-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2044.1997.72-az0069.x.


A 68-year-old woman presented with dyspnoea having undergone a short period of tracheal intubation during an episode of congestive cardiac failure 10 days earlier. On the fourth day of admission, she suddenly developed acute respiratory distress followed by a cardiac arrest and was found to have an enlarging neck mass. Following intubation and resuscitation, computerised tomography was carried out and surgical exploration revealed a retropharyngeal abscess and a pseudo-aneurysm of the common carotid artery resulting from pharyngeal rupture which most probably occurred as a complication of the original tracheal intubation.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aneurysm, False / diagnostic imaging
  • Aneurysm, False / etiology*
  • Carotid Artery, Common*
  • Emergencies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / adverse effects*
  • Pharynx / injuries
  • Retropharyngeal Abscess / diagnostic imaging
  • Retropharyngeal Abscess / etiology*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed