Soft tissue hematoma of the neck due to thyroid rupture with unusual mechanism

Kohei Tsukahara, Keiji Sato, Tetsuya Yumoto, Atsuyoshi Iida, Nobuyuki Nosaka, Michihisa Terado, Hiromichi Naito, Yorihisa Orita, Tomoyuki Naito, Kentaro Miki, Mayu Sugihara, Satoko Nagao, Toyomu Ugawa, Atsunori Nakao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction Massive bleeding from the thyroid gland causing airway compromise secondary to indirect neck trauma is rare. Presentation of case An 89-year-old woman was transferred to our emergency department due to anterior neck pain after a traffic accident. She had been propelled forward and struck her head on the front mirror during emergency braking. Airway patency was confirmed at the first contact. Although her vital signs were stable at presentation, she gradually suffered from respiratory distress and severe dyspnea, implying airway compression, therefore requiring endotracheal intubation. Computed tomography (CT) revealed a large, encapsulated hematoma in the left thyroid gland lobe extending to the upper mediastinum. Contrast-enhanced CT demonstrated an extravasation of the contrast agent around the left superior thyroid artery. The left thyroid artery was ligated and the hematoma was removed immediately. She had a favorable course without further complications and was discharged 36 days after admission. Discussion Airway management is the most important consideration in patients with thyroid injury. Treatment should be customized depending on the degree of respiratory distress resulting from of either involvement of the direct airway or secondary compression. Conclusion Although hemorrhage from the thyroid gland without blunt trauma is rare, emergency physicians should regard possible thyroid gland rupture in patients with swelling of the neck or acute respiratory failure after direct/indirect trauma to the neck. Observation or operative management for limited or expanding hematoma are appropriately based on fundamental neck trauma principles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-220
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Surgery Case Reports
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Airway distress
  • Blunt trauma
  • Soft tissue hematoma
  • Thyroid artery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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