Embolization from the systemic circulation to the lungs is a relatively common phenomenon. Reports of embolization from the lungs to the systemic circulation are rare. Spain and Moses1 note that in a series of 5000 postmortem examinations systemic emboli resulting from pulmonary thrombophlebitis occurred in only one instance. A review of the literature revealed only one additional similar case.
Thrombi occur in the pulmonary veins less frequently than in the systemic veins because of the constant motion of the lungs, the protection against trauma offered by the bony chest cage, and the situation of the pulmonary veins at heart level, obviating the support of a long column of blood.
The purpose of this paper is to report a case in which emboli arising in the smaller veins of the pulmonary system spread to the arteries of the systemic system, causing profound symptoms and ultimately death. The source of the
WALLACH R, POMERANTZ N, DiMAIO D. Emboli Arising in the Lungs. AMA Arch Intern Med. 1957;99(1):142-146. doi:10.1001/archinte.1957.00260010144017