Newly Published
Images in Anesthesiology  |   October 2018
Madelung’s Disease and Airway Management
Author Notes
  • From the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Hospital Universitario de Gran Canaria Doctor Negrín, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain.
  • Correspondence: Address correspondence to Dr. Becerra-Bolaños: angbecbol@gmail.com
Article Information
Images in Anesthesiology / Airway Management / Endocrine and Metabolic Systems
Images in Anesthesiology   |   October 2018
Madelung’s Disease and Airway Management
Anesthesiology Newly Published on October 19, 2018. doi:10.1097/ALN.0000000000002487
Anesthesiology Newly Published on October 19, 2018. doi:10.1097/ALN.0000000000002487
Madelung’s disease, also known as benign symmetrical lipomatosis, familial symmetric lipomatosis, or Launois–Bensaude syndrome, is a rare disorder characterized by the presence of multiple, symmetrical, and nonencapsulated lipomas located in the neck, face, and upper trunk.1  These fat masses cause significant deformity and cervical immobility. Airway management of these patients is challenging, and postoperative respiratory failure is a frequent complication.
The accompanying images show the preoperative physical examination of a man suffering from Madelung’s disease who required urgent surgery for intestinal obstruction. The images reveal a significant macroglossia occluding the airway (Mallampati IV), as well as inability to mandibular protrusion and limitation of cervical mobility by a giant posterior cervical lipoma. As observed, the presence of anterior cervical lipomas makes it impossible to evaluate thyromental distance and tracheal orientation.