Platypnea-orthodeoxia syndrome induced by multiple vertebral compression fractures and an atrial septal defect

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Platypnea-orthodeoxia syndrome (POS) is a rare condition that is characterized by dyspnea and arterial oxygen desaturation, which worsen on standing and which are relieved by recumbency. We treated an 80-year-old woman with an atrial septal defect (ASD) who demonstrated POS following thoracic and lumbar vertebral compression fractures. The surgical closure of the ASD relieved her symptoms. The etiology might have been multiple compression fractures causing kyphosis and aortic distortion producing right atrial compression and increased right-to-left flow through the ASD. POS should be considered in the differential diagnosis of patients who develop dyspnea after vertebral compression fractures. The careful assessment of the patient’s history and clinical condition helps in the diagnosis of POS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)971-973
Number of pages3
JournalInternal Medicine
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2018



  • Atrial septal defect
  • Platypnea-orthodeoxia syndrome
  • Vertebral fracture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

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