Traumatic tension chylothorax in a child: A case report

Burkley D. Snow, Edgardo Salcedo, Joseph M Galante, Stephen K. Greenholz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Blunt trauma is the leading cause of death of children and adolescents in the United States. Potentially life-threatening injuries from blunt trauma to the chest must be identified and treated immediately. Clinician familiarity with the range of possible injuries assists in timely diagnosis and therapy. Chylothorax from injury to the thoracic duct is a rare consequence of blunt chest trauma. Tension chylothorax is exceptionally rare. We present a case of a 22-month old boy found to have a traumatic tension chylothorax during initial evaluation in the resuscitation bay after transfer from another facility. There have been no previous reports of a pediatric tension chylothorax after blunt trauma. Management consisted of drainage with tube thoracostomy, parenteral nutrition, and octreotide until the chyle leak resolved. Surgical ligation of the thoracic duct was not required.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-165
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Pediatric Surgery Case Reports
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2015


  • Chylothorax
  • Tension chylothorax
  • Traumatic chylothorax

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Surgery


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