Pulmonary hemorrhage is a life-threatening complication of cardiovascular surgery. Bronchial artery hypertrophy, a rare pathology associated with inflammatory and ischemic respiratory diseases, increases the risk of pulmonary hemorrhage; however, its involvement in cardiovascular surgery is not well known. We present two cardiovascular surgical cases in which embolization of the hypertrophied bronchial artery was effective in controlling perioperative pulmonary hemorrhage.
The first case was a 51-year-old man with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease who developed acute type A aortic dissection. After emergent surgery, his blood pressure suddenly dropped in the intensive care unit; computed tomography revealed a right hemothorax. Because a 4-mm dilated bronchial artery was identified on preoperative computed tomography, the hemothorax was suspected to be associated with bronchial artery hypertrophy. Selective bronchial arteriography was emergently performed and revealed a right pulmonary parenchymal blush. After subsequent coil embolization of the bronchial artery, the parenchymal blush disappeared, and his hemodynamic condition stabilized. The second case was a 66-year-old man with bronchiectasis who was referred for redo aortic valve replacement due to structural valve deterioration. A bioprosthesis was previously implanted to avoid permanent anticoagulation because the patient had repeated episodes of hemoptysis; however, he still had persistent hemosputum during admission for the redo aortic valve replacement. A dilated bronchial artery 3.7 mm in size was incidentally identified on preoperative computed tomography, and hence, the repeated hemosputum was suspected to be associated with bronchial artery hypertrophy. Bronchial arteriography revealed a right pulmonary parenchymal blush, and prophylactic embolization of the bronchial artery was performed. The hemosputum disappeared after the procedure, and redo aortic valve replacement was performed uneventfully 8 days later.
In cardiovascular surgery, the risk of pulmonary hemorrhage associated with bronchial artery hypertrophy should be considered, especially in patients with inflammatory and ischemic respiratory diseases.