Anesthetic Management of a Patient With Trisomy 18 Undergoing a Multilevel Spinal Fusion

Davis Frease, David Rico Mora


Trisomy 18 is the second most common autosomal trisomy aside from trisomy 21. Anesthesiologists were unlikely to manage such patients in the past, specifically those surviving later into childhood due to the 90% mortality rate within the first year of life and the lack of procedural options that were available. However, a paucity of literature regarding the anesthetic management of such patients exists. Trisomy 18 patients present a unique anesthetic challenge, given the presence of associated dysmorphic facial features and the involvement of multiple organ systems, leading to difficult airway and hemodynamic disturbances. In this case report, we present the anesthetic management of a 9-year-old patient with trisomy 18 undergoing a multilevel spinal fusion. Despite significant intraoperative hemorrhage, the patient was able to tolerate the procedure without complications, likely owing to the meticulous preoperative preparation and the patients survival later into childhood. This case contributes to a small subset of literature which suggests that patients with trisomy 18 who survive later into childhood have an improved ability to tolerate general anesthesia.

J Med Cases. 2024;15(4-5):78-81


Trisomy 18 perioperative management; Pediatric multilevel spinal fusion; Pediatric intraoperative hemorrhage; Pediatric intraoperative hypovolemic shock

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