Delayed chylothorax in the absence of radiological evidence of rib or vertebral body fractures following blunt trauma

Khurum Mazhar, Saifullah Mohamed, Akshay Jatin Patel, Sarah Berger-Veith, Qamar Abid, Shilajit Ghosh

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Abstract

Our case report illustrates effective implementation of conservative measures without the need for more invasive procedures, which can be required in refractory cases. Our patient was a 42-year-old female who fell from a horse and presented with a 1-week history of dyspnoea. Investigations revealed her to have a large right chylothorax, which was treated conservatively with chest drainage and octreotide. The patient remained in hospital for a total of 3 days prior to being discharged home without further complications. Blunt traumatic chylothorax should be considered as part of the differential diagnosis in patients who present with ongoing dyspnoea or chest discomfort within a 2-week preceding history of blunt trauma. Radiological imaging should be mandatory and the absence of posterior thoracic fractures does not exclude the diagnosis. Conservative management with pleural drainage, medium-chain triglyceride diet and octreotide yielded excellent results in our case.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberrjab112
JournalJournal of Surgical Case Reports
Volume2021
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2021

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