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February 1988

Pulmonary Artery Pseudoaneurysm: A Potential Complication of Pulmonary Artery Catheterization

Author Affiliations

From the Divisions of Pulmonary (Drs Bartter and Irwin) and Cardiovascular (Dr Benotti) Medicine and the Department of Radiology (Drs Phillips and Worthington-Kirsch), University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester.

Arch Intern Med. 1988;148(2):471-473. doi:10.1001/archinte.1988.00380020215028

• A 70-year-old woman with pulmonary hypertension due to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and longstanding mitral stenosis developed hemoptysis and a right upper lobe infiltrate during manipulation of a balloon-tipped flow-directed pulmonary artery catheter. Hemoptysis resolved spontaneously over several minutes, and the right upper lobe infiltrate cleared over several weeks, during which time a new right upper lobe nodule became apparent. Angiography disclosed the presence of a late-filling well-circumscribed saccular pseudoaneurysm. This was obliterated with an absorbable gelatin sponge and a wire coil. When there is an acute infiltrate with or without hemoptysis in the area subtended by a flow-director pulmonary artery catheter, and particularly when it is associated with manipulation of that catheter, the differential diagnosis should include pulmonary artery perforation as well as infarction. If the patient survives the episode, the possibility that a pseudoaneurysm has formed must be actively entertained and aggressively evaluated, since pseudoaneurysm is a potentially fatal lesion that is treatable.

(Arch Intern Med 1988;148:471-473)

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