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23 September 2022 : Case report  Antigua and Barbuda

[In Press] Spontaneous Oropharyngeal Hemorrhage Complicated by Cirrhosis, Resulting in Hemorrhagic Shock

Unusual clinical course, Challenging differential diagnosis

Dung V. Nguyen1EF, Dena H. Tran2E, Kathryn G. Champ2E, Swetha Vutukuri2E, Avelino Verceles3E

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.937582

Am J Case Rep In Press; DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.937582  

Available online: 2022-09-23, In Press, Corrected Proof

Publication in the "In-Press" formula aims at speeding up the public availability of the pending manuscript while waiting for the final publication. The assigned DOI number is active and citable. The availability of the article in the Medline, PubMed and PMC databases as well as Web of Science will be obtained after the final publication according to the journal schedule


Spontaneous oropharyngeal hemorrhage is rare and is often associated with other predisposing factors. This can result in hemodynamic instability in the presence of other bleeding sources. It is oftentimes difficult to diagnose due to its limitations to visual inspection of the oropharyngeal structures. It is commonly mistaken for hemoptysis or hematemesis upon initial evaluation. Trauma, infection, pulmonary pathologies (ie, lung cancer or tuberculosis), gastrointestinal pathologies (ie, esophageal/gastric varices, Mallory-Weiss tears, esophagitis), coagulopathies, medications, and prolonged intubation have been shown to increase the risk of oropharyngeal hemorrhage.
A 54-year-old man with a medical history of alcohol use disorder, liver cirrhosis, portal hypertension, and gastric varices presented with altered mental status. He was subsequently intubated for airway protection. Bleeding from the oropharynx was later found. Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) and bronchoscopy were unrevealing. Computed tomography angiography (CTA) of the head and neck revealed active bleeding of the right posterior pharyngeal artery, which was emergently embolized. Over the next few days, he continued to bleed from the oropharynx and became hemodynamically unstable. CTA abdomen showed bleeding from gastric varices and large-volume hemoperitoneum with multiple sources of active bleeding from the liver, duodenum, and jejunum.
We present a rare case of spontaneous oropharyngeal hemorrhage and gastric variceal bleeding resulting in hemorrhagic shock in a cirrhotic patient with multiple predisposing factors. If a patient presents with spontaneous oropharyngeal hemorrhage, clinicians should consider bleeding from the oropharynx if EGD and bronchoscopy are unrevealing. Thus, an emergent CTA of the head and neck should be strongly considered to further evaluate a potential source of active bleeding, as delayed diagnosis can be life-threatening.

Keywords: Liver Cirrhosis; Liver Cirrhosis, Alcoholic; Hepatic Encephalopathy; Esophageal and Gastric Varices; Hemorrhagic Shock and Encephalopathy Syndrome


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American Journal of Case Reports eISSN: 1941-5923
American Journal of Case Reports eISSN: 1941-5923