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Pediatr Dev Pathol. 2016 May-Jun;19(3):219-29. doi: 10.2350/15-07-1670-OA.1. Epub 2015 Oct 12.

Lung Pathology in Pediatric Pulmonary Vein Stenosis.

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1 Department of Pathology, Boston Children's Hospital & Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
2 Department of Cardiology, Boston Children's Hospital & Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
3 Department of Medicine (Division of Pulmonary and Respiratory Diseases), Boston Children's Hospital & Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
4 Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Boston Children's Hospital & Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.


Pulmonary vein stenosis is a rare progressive narrowing of the extrapulmonary pulmonary veins, presenting predominantly in infancy and virtually always lethal. It typically arises following repair of congenital heart disease, particularly anomalous pulmonary venous return. Histologic characterization of pediatric pulmonary vein stenosis, not previously well described, may provide insight into the disease pathobiology. We retrieved archival lung specimens (biopsy, explant, or autopsy) from patients with pediatric pulmonary vein stenosis. Medical records were reviewed. Microscopic examination included hematoxylin and eosin (H&E)-stained slides, and for a subset of patients, elastic, trichrome, smooth-muscle actin, and D2-40. Groups with different clinical disease features were compared using Fisher's exact test. A total of 33 patients (median age, 7 months) had available tissue and 52% had congenital heart disease; 18% were premature. Within the lungs, interlobular septal veins showed thickened muscular coats (in 58%), proliferation/tortuosity (in 6%), and fibromyxoid intimal proliferation (in 3%). Associated arterial hypertensive changes were seen in 30 (91%). The one patient with intrapulmonary venous fibromyxoid intimal proliferation was the only patient with apparent primary familial disease. Lymphangiectasia and arterial medial hypertrophy were histologic features that correlated with clinical grouping. We conclude that in pediatric pulmonary vein stenosis, intrapulmonary pulmonary veins commonly show muscular thickening, best interpreted as venous hypertensive remodeling. Fibromyxoid intimal proliferation resembling that of the extrapulmonary pulmonary veins is uncommon. Awareness of intrapulmonary features in various clinical subtypes of pulmonary vein stenosis may be diagnostically and therapeutically informative considering that current catheter-based and surgical therapy is directed at the extrapulmonary component of pulmonary vein stenosis.


hypertension; lung; pulmonary; pulmonary vein stenosis; pulmonary veins; pulmonary veno-occlusive disease; vasculopathy

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