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Case Reports in Medicine
Volume 2014, Article ID 674176, 4 pages
Case Report

Two Cases of Cervical Hemorrhage with Upper Airway Obstruction: A Life-Threatening Condition

1Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, S. Orsola-Malpighi University Hospital, Via Pietro Albertoni 15, 40138 Bologna, Italy
2Department of Transfusion Medicine and Immunohematology, Bufalini Hospital, Viale Ghirotti 286, 47521 Cesena, Italy

Received 28 October 2013; Accepted 18 December 2013; Published 30 January 2014

Academic Editor: Peter S. Roland

Copyright © 2014 Enrico Maria Amadei et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Several are the causes of cervical masses and among them a spontaneous hemorrhage presents a rare and life-threatening condition. Sometimes hemorrhage develops from a previous silent neck lesion as in the case of an anaplastic thyroid carcinoma associated with bleeding. We present two cases: a 70-year-old woman suffering from enlarging cervical mass causing respiratory distress because of upper airway compression due to a spontaneous rupture of the superior thyroid artery and a 74-year-old woman who drew our attention because of a progressively worsening dyspnea due to a large medial cervical mass with rapid onset. We removed it surgically, finding out an anaplastic thyroid carcinoma that is associated with internal bleeding. We discuss our management of these rare and life-threatening conditions, recalling that the patency of upper airway should always be the prerogative in every emergency. Besides, we make a review of the recent literature.