Man coughs up blood clot shaped like lung's bronchial tree

Hospital

Hospital

The New England Journal of Medicine released the picture in their regular photo series.

A man coughed up a freaky blood clot that was practically a copy of the inside of his lung, astonishing doctors around the world.

In a medically-worded tweet, the NEJM explained what happened.

All queasiness aside, Georg Wieselthaler, the transplant and pulmonary surgeon at the University of California at San Francisco who dealt with the case, told The Atlantic the patient was initially admitted to the intensive-care unit with aggressive end-stage heart failure.

He had been hooked up to a ventricular assist device - used to help circulate blood around the body - and administered anti-coagulation therapy (blood thinners).

The patient had a pacemaker fitted due to a history of poor cardiovascular health, according to the New England Journal of Medicine. "So with all these patients, you have to give them anticoagulants to make the blood thinner and prevent clots from forming".

Human lungs are too large to fit through the trachea, so it is not possible to cough up an entire lung.

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A man who went into the hospital with heart problems ended up literally coughing up a lung.

Dr Wieselthaler carefully spread out the coughed-up clot, realising it was the ideal shape. Don't say we didn't warn you.

"It's a curiosity you can't imagine".

This kind of clot isn't unheard of in patients, but what was unusual was how intact it was.

Fibrinogen is a type of protein in the blood that works to glue platelets together. But it's actually a blood clot, coughed up intact by a patient suffering from heart failure.

A man undergoing treatment for heart failure coughed up an enormous, intact blood clot that formed a ideal cast of the air passageways of his lung.

In 2005, a heavily pregnant woman coughed up a similar but smaller bronchial tree clot.

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