Risk Factors for Anesthetic-Related Complications in Pediatric Patients With a Newly Diagnosed Mediastinal Mass

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Pediatric Anesthesia


Background: Pediatric patients with a mediastinal mass can experience severe complications while undergoing anesthesia. Nearly, all published reviews involve either patients with an anterior mediastinal mass or patients with an oncologic disease.

Aim: The identification of risk factors for anesthetic-related complications in pediatric patients with any type of mediastinal mass.

Methods: From January 1, 2008 to December 31, 2019, patients with a newly diagnosed mediastinal mass that underwent anesthesia were retrospectively identified. Each patient's medical record was reviewed for presenting symptoms, preprocedure imaging results, the type of anesthetic delivered, and the occurrence of any anesthetic-related complications. A complication was defined as severe hypoxia, severe hypotension, or loss of endtidal carbon dioxide.

Results: Eighty-six patients presented with a new mediastinal mass. Six of these patients (7%) had a complication. Complications were no more likely in patients with orthopnea than in patients without orthopnea (P = 1.00; relative risk (RR) = 0.95; 95% CI (0.1, 7.5). Complication rates in patients with anterior, middle, and posterior mediastinal masses were similar, as were complication rates in patients with large, medium, and small masses. Six of the 41 patients (15%) who had tracheal compression had a complication, while none of the 45 patients (0%) who did not have tracheal compression had a complication (p = .0096). Six of the 48 patients (13%) that were intubated had a complication, while none of the 38 patients (0%) who were not intubated had a complication (p = .032). Five of 36 patients (14%) who had mainstem bronchus compression had a complication, while one of 50 patients (2%) who did not have mainstem bronchus compression had a complication (p = .078; RR = 6.9l; 95% CI (0.8, 56.9)).

Conclusions: Anesthetic-related complications were associated with airway compression and endotracheal intubation. The absence of preprocedure orthopnea did not ensure that the anesthetic would be uncomplicated. Complications occurred in similar frequencies in patients with a mediastinal mass of any location or size.



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adverse events, complications, general anesthesia, oncology, outcomes, quality improvement