Eastern Cardiothoracic Surgical Society

Pneumonectomy is Necessary Following Pulmonary Artery Compromise: Case Series and Literature Review
Ambria Moten, Abbas Abbas,  Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA


OBJECTIVE: It has been previously suggested that lung tissue will remain viable without blood supply via the pulmonary artery. However, our experience demonstrates that this may not be true.

METHODS: We present two cases of pulmonary artery compromise causing decreased arterial flow to the lung tissue.

RESULTS: Both patients became septic secondary to the presence of infarcted lung and subsequently required completion pneumonectomy.

CONCLUSIONS: The development of collateral circulation to bypass the occluded pulmonary artery may occur, but is insufficient to support the affected lung tissue. The lung may become abscess-ridden and nonfunctional, necessitating completion pneumonectomy. Perhaps the lung can be left in place in total pulmonary artery occlusion, but any sign of necrosis is an indication for surgery.