Embolization of a Bronchial Artery Aneurysm in a Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Patient with Non-Massive Hemoptysis
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Publication date: 2018-02-02
Pol J Radiol, 2017; 82: 174-178
Background: Bronchial artery aneurysm (BAA) is a rare condition with a reported prevalence of less than 1% of all selective bronchial arterial angiograms. Despite its low incidence, BAA represents a potential cause of hemoptysis.
Case Report: We describe the case of a 63-year-old man suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), who presented with non-massive hemoptysis. CT angiography revealed a single bronchial artery aneurysm of 9 mm in diameter, abutting the esophageal wall. Other CT findings included hypertrophy of the bronchial arteries along the mediastinal course, diffuse thickening of the walls of numerous bronchial branches and a “ground glass” opacity in the anterior segment of the right upper pulmonary lobe suggestive of alveolar hemorrhage. The final diagnosis was established based on selective angiography, which was followed by transcatheter arterial embolization (TAE) of the BAA and of the pathological bronchial circulation. Follow-up CT scans revealed a total exclusion of the aneurysm from the systemic circulation, resolution of the parenchymal “ground glass” opacity and absence of further episodes of hemoptysis over a period of two years.
Conclusions: An incidental finding of a bronchial artery aneurysm necessitates prompt treatment. CT angiography and TAE represent the methods of choice for an appropriate diagnosis and treatment, respectively. In case of a BAA associated with chronic inflammatory diseases, such as COPD, in patients with
hemoptysis, TAE of the BAA and of the pathological bronchial circulation, in association with the treatment of the underlying disease, represents a valid approach that can improve the pulmonary status and prevent further episodes of hemoptysis.
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