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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


An Autopsy Case of Paradoxical Pulmonary Thromboembolism by Arteriovenous Fistula from Right Common Iliac Artery to Common Iliac Vein: A Rare Cause of Pulmonary Embolism

Diagnostic / therapeutic accidents, Unusual setting of medical care, Educational Purpose (only if useful for a systematic review or synthesis), Rare coexistence of disease or pathology

Fuminari Takahashi, Shinichiro Hiraiwa, Genki Takahashi, Yusuke Kondo, Gen Tasaki, Tomoko Sugiyama, Takuma Tajiri, Fumio Sakamaki

Japan Division of Respiratory Disease, Department of Medicine, Tokai University Hachioji Hospital, Hachioji, Tokyo, Japan

Am J Case Rep 2018; 19:1301-1305

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.910982

Available online: 2018-11-01

Published: 2018-11-01


BACKGROUND: Pulmonary thromboembolism (PTE) sometimes leads to a shock state and sudden death due to acute massive pulmonary arterial thrombosis. The origins of pulmonary arterial thrombi are varied, but most arise from deep vein thrombosis. We herein presented a very rare cause of PTE due to paradoxical embolism caused by arteriovenous fistula from common iliac artery to common iliac vein.
CASE REPORT: A 74-year-old man was admitted because of increasing dyspnea on exertion. The diagnosis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis was made and corticosteroid therapy was started. On the 5th hospital day, the patient suddenly developed cardiopulmonary arrest and died despite cardiopulmonary resuscitation. An autopsy revealed that the left main pulmonary artery was occluded by a massive but organized thrombus that was similar to an arterial thrombus in the right common iliac artery. On histopathological examination, the emboli in the pulmonary artery demonstrated characteristics similar to thrombus in the common iliac artery. This suggested that the emboli had passed through the arteriovenous fistula from the right common iliac artery to the common iliac vein.
CONCLUSIONS: This is a very rare cause of fatal paradoxical pulmonary thromboembolism. Paradoxical emboli passing through arteriovenous fistula from the right common iliac artery to the common iliac vein are a rare cause of PTE.

Keywords: Arteriovenous Fistula, Iliac Artery, Pulmonary Embolism