The New England Journal of Medicine shares some of the most awesome imagery from the often weird and wonderful field of medicine, but sometimes the content can be simultaneously disgusting and yet mesmerizing.
A man coughed up a freaky blood clot that was practically a copy of the inside of his lung, astonishing doctors around the world.
The 36-year old man was being treated for a serious heart condition, according to a new report of the case, published November 29 in The New England Journal of Medicine. The patient was put on a pump to help maximize blood flow through the body and was administered anticoagulants to make the blood thinner and prevent clots from forming.
During his hospitalization, the man started to cough up phlegm and blood, and at one point it had the shape of the "intact cast of the right bronchial tree".
The pulmonary surgeon Dr Georg Wieselthaler told The Atlantic when he carefully spread out the clot, realising it was the ideal shape, he was "astonished".
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The anti-coagulants the man was taking forced blood out of his pulmonary system and into his right lung.
"We were astonished", Dr Wieselthaler said.
"A 36-year-old man was admitted to the ICU with an acute exacerbation of chronic heart failure".
When Wieselthaler and his team delicately spread out the clot, they discovered "that the architecture of the airways had been retained so perfectly that they were able to identify it as the right bronchial tree based exclusively on the number of branches and their alignment".
After his extreme cough, doctors performed a bronchoscopy and intubated the man immediately, and discovered some blood in the basilar branches of his lung.
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"It's a curiosity you can't imagine".
Sadly, the patient died from complications of heart failure almost a week later.
It occurred after the patient had been coughing up much smaller clots for days. But blood is less sticky and sturdy than these other substances, meaning that a cast made of blood is less likely to hold together when coughed up, the Atlantic reported.
Sadly, despite the best efforts of the medical team, the man died a week after coughing up the bronchial tube cast.
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