Man Suffering from Heart Failure Coughs Out Part of His Lung

Posted December 08, 2018

On Monday, the New England Journal of Medicine tweeted a startling picture as part of its "Images in Clinical Medicine" photo series, which features photos of medical anomalies.

"An Impella ventricular assist device was placed for management of acute heart failure, and a continuous heparin infusion was initiated for systemic anticoagulation".

The University of California at San Francisco transplant and pulmonary surgeon Georg Wieselthaler said he and his team were "astonished" when they saw the bronchial tree-shaped blood clot. But it's actually a blood clot, coughed up intact by a patient suffering from heart failure.

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According to a case report from the New England Journal of Medicine published on November 29, during a particularly violent coughing spell, the man coughed up his right bronchial tree - all intact.

After days of coughing up tiny blood clots, the man eventually - much to his relief - spat up a cast of his right lung's bronchial tree. The patient was put on a pump to help maximize blood flow through the body and was administered anticoagulants to make the blood thinner and prevent clots from forming.

Wieselthaler told the publication that it was the man's blood medication that made the clot rubbery and able to survive the trip out his airway instead of breaking up, since blood clots are typically hard plugs of blood. "It's a curiosity you can't imagine-I mean, this is very, very, very rare". Don't say we didn't warn you.

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Fibrinogen is a type of protein in the blood that works to glue platelets together.

Sadly, however, the patient died about a week later due to further complications involving his heart.

The 36-year-old patient was in intensive care.

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The 25-year-old mum went on to recover fully and delivered a healthy, full-term baby soon after.

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