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Ann Card Anaesth. 2020 Jan-Mar;23(1):14-19. doi: 10.4103/aca.ACA_43_19.

Airway anomalies in cases of anomalous pulmonary venous connection - A single-center experience.

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Department of Anaesthesia, SSSIHMS, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India.
Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, SSSIHMS, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India.



Patients with congenital heart defects may present with concomitant defects involving other organ systems. Roughly 4 percent of this nature are airway anomalies. Presence of anomalous airways summon major challenge before the anesthesiologist, surgeon, and intensivist in the perioperative management of such patients. There is paucity of literature in the study of airway anomalies in the subset of congenital anomalous pulmonary venous connections. We present the analysis of three cases of airway anomalies in patients operated for anomalous venous drainage at our center. We hope to explicate the clinical implications and management of such rare presentations.


The records of all patients who underwent surgical correction for anomalous venous return between January 2016 and January 2018 were reviewed retrospectively. The records were examined for presence of any airway issues, abnormal radiological findings, perioperative intubation or extubation issues and perioperative surgical findings.


Amidst the 410 cases operated for congenital heart defects in this period, 92 were operated cases for anomalous pulmonary venous return, of which 3 patients presented with airway issues. One patient had an aberrant right tracheal bronchus with normal carina and bilateral main bronchial stenosis, the second patient had a hypoplastic left lung and the third patient had congenital lobar emphysema of the left lung.


Prudent perioperative management necessitates prior evaluation and preemptive planning for airway anomalies in patients with anomalous venous return, since they can belong to the "Malinosculation Syndrome" group, which involves anomalous communication by means of small openings between the different components of lung tissue, namely, the lung parenchyma, tracheobronchial tree, arteries, and veins.


Airway compression; anomalous pulmonary venous connection; congenital; intubation; tracheal bronchus

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