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Journal of Thoracic Oncology:
doi: 10.1097/JTO.0b013e3181c15429
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Intraparenchymal Pulmonary Artery Aneurysm from Ipsilobar Non-small Cell Lung Cancer

Petrella, Francesco MD*; Rizzo, Stefania MD†; Solli, Piergiorgio MD, PhD*; Borri, Alessandro MD*; Galetta, Domenico MD, PhD*; Gasparri, Roberto MD*; Veronesi, Giulia MD*; Spaggiari, Lorenzo MD, PhD*‡

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Divisions of *Thoracic Surgery and †Radiology, European Institute of Oncology; and ‡University of Milan School of Medicine, Milan, Italy.

Disclosure: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Address for correspondence: Francesco Petrella, MD, Division of Thoracic Surgery, European Institute of Oncology, Via Ripamonti, 435, Milan 20141, Italy. E-mail:

A 67-year-old man with a history of alcoholic hepatitis was admitted for hemoptysis. Preoperative chest computed tomography (CT) scan was acquired before (Figure 1) and after injection of iodinated contrast medium (Figure 2). Axial images and multiplanar reconstructions (Figure 3) disclosed a solid lesion of the right upper lobe containing a round enhancing area. The suspicion of an intralesional aneurysm excluded percutaneous CT-guided lung biopsy. Bronchoscopy was performed without any evidence of intraluminal lesions; bronchoalveolar lavage was positive for neoplastic cells and negative for mycobacterium tuberculosis. Positron emission tomography scan was focally positive on the right upper lobe. The patient was submitted to intrapericardial right upper lobectomy because of a close adhesion of the lesion to the superior vena cava wall; no superior vena cava resection was required to complete lobectomy. Postoperative histologic examination showed an epidermoid carcinoma without nodal involvement.

Figure 1
Figure 1
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Figure 2
Figure 2
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Figure 3
Figure 3
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Pulmonary artery aneurysm is a rare vascular anomaly, frequently associated with congenital heart disease: patent ductus arteriosus followed by ventricular and septal atrial defects are the most common associated congenital anomalies.1,2 Behçet's disease, generalized vasculitis, infections, and trauma are other clinical conditions often involved in the etiopathogenesis of pulmonary artery aneurysm.

In our patient, the acquisition of CT pre- and postcontrast images demonstrated a round well-circumscribed area within the malignant lesion, whose contrast enhancement was comparable with the aorta, thus confirming its vascular origin. These findings were very important in the subsequent management of the patient: a percutaneous CT-guided lung biopsy was skipped, as it was considered a procedure at high risk of bleeding, and the diagnosis of malignancy was confirmed by bronchoalveolar lavage.

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Anne Collins edited the English text.

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1. Coard KC, Martin MP. Rupture of saccular pulmonary artery aneurysm associated with persistent ductus arteriosus. Arch Pathol Lab Med 1992;116:159–161.

2. Butto F, Lucas RV, Edwards JE. Pulmonary arterial aneurysm. A pathologic study of five cases. Chest 1987;91:237–241.

© 2010International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer


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