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J Intensive Care Med. 2004 Sep-Oct;19(5):291-6.

Pulmonary artery rupture induced by a pulmonary artery catheter: a case report and review of the literature.

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Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, USA.


Placement and use of pulmonary artery catheters (PACs) carry potential risks. The authors describe a case of a patient who developed massive hemoptysis after placement of a PAC that caused a rupture of the pulmonary artery with pseudoaneurysm formation. Treatment was successfully achieved with transcatheter coil embolization. Pulmonary artery rupture and pseudoaneurysm formation are among the most serious complications of PAC use because of the associated risk of mortality. Patients with this complication may be asymptomatic or may present with variable amounts of hemoptysis immediately or days after using a PAC. The gold standard diagnostic test is pulmonary angiography, and the treatment of choice for most patients is transcatheter embolization. Physicians and other health care personnel handling these catheters should be familiar with the specific PAC balloon's inflation limits to avoid complications that may injure the patient.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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