Chylopericardium following thoracoscopic resection of a mediastinal cyst: A case report.

Research paper by Toshiko T Kamata, Mitsutoshi M Shiba, Taiki T Fujiwara, Kaoru K Nagato, Shigetoshi S Yoshida, Toru T Inoue, Tomohiko T Iida

Indexed on: 25 Aug '17Published on: 25 Aug '17Published in: International Journal of Surgery Case Reports


Thoracic duct cysts are very rare, and diagnosis is often difficult. We report a rare case of chylopericardium following thoracic duct cyst resection. There are no established guidelines on the management of such cases. We reviewed the literature on postoperative complications after thoracic duct cyst resection, and conducted the first thorough review of the etiology and management of chylopericardium in surgical cases.A 54-year-old male presented with cardiac tamponade due to chylopericardium. He had undergone resection of a thoracic duct cyst 2 years previously, which was complicated by postoperative chylothorax. Chyle accumulation resolved with conservative treatment.Chylothorax is a frequent complication following thoracic duct cyst resection, especially in cases where no intraoperative diagnosis is reached. Diagnosis may be difficult due to anomalous location of the cyst, as in our case. Chylopericardium is rarely reported, and may have occurred in our case because of prior pleurodesis. Chyle accumulation can reportedly be managed with diet restrictions in over half of reported cases, especially in cases of lung or mediastinal tumor resection.The most important points highlighted by this rare case of chylopericardium secondary to thoracic duct cyst resection are: 1) pedicles should be ligated in cyst resections, regardless of location; 2) careful assessment in the initial surgery may help identify the point of leakage; 3) low-fat diet is the first choice in the initial management of postoperative chylopericardium, but surgical repair may be considered in cases with no response after>2 weeks of conservative treatment.