Platypnea-Orthodeoxia Syndrome After Complicated Cholecystectomy: An Unsuspected Diagnosis

Catarina Queirós, Elsa Francisco, João Almeida


A 65-year-old woman with no significant prior medical history presented, in the postoperative course of a complicated cholecystectomy, several episodes of arterial desaturation. Pulmonary embolism was repeatedly suspected, but there was no evidence of pulmonary thrombus on the chest computed tomography angiographies obtained. As these episodes were mainly induced by postural changes, a platypnea-orthodeoxia syndrome was suspected. A transthoracic echocardiogram was performed and revealed a patent foramen ovale. A transesophageal echocardiography confirmed the presence of a significant right-to-left shunt exacerbated by the Valsalva manouver. The defect was repaired using a percutaneous transcatheter technique with complete resolution of the condition.


Cholecystectomy; Dyspnea; Foramen Ovale, Patent; Hypoxia; Syndrome

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