Obstructive shock describes any disease process that causes physical obstruction to blood flow into or out of the heart which results in impaired systemic oxygen or nutrient delivery. Common etiologies include cardiac tamponade, tension pneumothorax, and pulmonary embolus. However, several other causes exist and should prompt consideration in the correct clinical circumstances. In this report, we describe a 72-year-old female patient with history of hepatic cysts presenting with respiratory distress, mottled extremities, and abnormal vital signs. Contrast enhanced computed tomography scans showed a massive hepatic cyst which was compressing her vena cava and heart, causing hemodynamic instability. The patient was admitted to the ICU and the hepatic cyst was drained percutaneously, but ultimately, she succumbed to her illness post-operatively. This report highlights the importance of keeping a broad differential when considering etiologies of undifferentiated shock as well as the need for additional research regarding management of rare causes of obstructive shock.
Published In/Presented At
Murphy, M. P., Warren, H. R., Surmaitis, R. M., & Kane, K. E. (2022). An unusual etiology of obstructive shock in the emergency department. The American journal of emergency medicine, S0735-6757(22)00017-1. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajem.2022.01.014
Department of Emergency Medicine, Fellows and Residents