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Pulmonary artery sarcoma masquerading as a pulmonary embolism
  1. Chevanthy Gnanalingam,
  2. Matthew Wright and
  3. Yasser Ahmed
  1. Respiratory Medicine, Southend Hospital, Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Matthew Wright; matthew.wright4{at}


A 52-year-old woman was referred to the respiratory team with worsening shortness of breath for the last 3 months, which had deteriorated significantly over the last 2–3 weeks. She underwent a CT pulmonary angiogram, which was reported locally as showing a large pulmonary embolism. Given the chronic history and appearance of the thrombus, the patient was referred to a specialist pulmonary vascular disease multidisciplinary team and underwent a PET-CT scan with the diagnosis being felt to be more consistent with a pulmonary artery sarcoma. Within 4 weeks, she underwent a pulmonary endarterectomy which confirmed the presence of an extensive mass. She underwent bilateral endarterectomy and pulmonary artery valve replacement, with subsequent improvement of her breathlessness back to premorbid baseline. Postoperative histology has confirmed a pulmonary artery angiosarcoma. Alternate imaging modalities and early referral to a specialist unit allowed as early a diagnosis as possible with good symptomatic benefit.

  • pulmonary embolism
  • cardiothoracic surgery
  • respiratory cancer

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  • CG and MW are joint first authors.

  • Contributors CG and MW contributed equally to this paper, acting as joint first authors. CG and MW drafted and edited the manuscript. YA supervised the patients care, and MW was involved in the patient’s care. All authors discussed and contributed to the final manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.