Plasma pseudo cholinesterase deficiency leading to seven hour apnoea in a child undergoing adeno-tonsillectomy

Deepa Bhargava*, Jasvinder Sharma, Rashid Al-Abri

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: We report a rare, silent, potentially fatal operative complication of seven hour apnoea in a patient undergoing adenotonsillectomy secondary to deficiency of plasma cholinesterase. Awareness of this hereditary disorder is important to otolaryngologist as; it is difficult to diagnose, can be unexpectedly alarming for parents and the surgeon. Methods: Case report and review of world literature. Results: A four-year male with obstructive sleep apnoea underwent a routine elective adenotonsillectomy; there was no spontaneous recovery of respiration following surgery. He was transferred to the intensive care unit and 7. h later was successfully weaned from the ventilator and extubated. A plasma cholinesterase level of 4561. U/L was discovered much later. Conclusion: To our knowledge this is the first case report of pseudo cholinesterase deficiency reported in otolaryngology literature and first in Oman. The patient should receive information about the condition, the associated risks, inheritance and need for testing other family members.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-151
Number of pages3
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012


  • Adenotonsillectomy
  • Prolonged apnoea
  • Pseudo cholinesterase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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