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Giant high-pressure pulmonary artery aneurysm (PAA) in a patient with COPD and chronic pulmonary embolism (PE)
  1. Hee Kong Fong1,
  2. Amber Pinson2,
  3. Bhaskar Bhardwaj2 and
  4. Fatima Samad2
  1. 1Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, UC Davis Medical Center, Sacramento, California, USA
  2. 2University of Missouri Health Care, Columbia, Missouri, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Hee Kong Fong; heekong{at}


A woman in her 60s with a history of known severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), former smoker of 50 pack-years and small patent foramen ovale (PFO) without significant shunt was admitted for acute on chronic hypoxic respiratory failure. Diagnostic workup showed severe dilatation of main pulmonary artery (MPA) (75.5 mm axial view and 86.6 mm sagittal view) and left and right PAs measuring 40 mm and 34 mm, respectively, on CT angiography of the chest. Right heart catheterisation showed severe pulmonary hypertension (PH). A diagnosis of giant high-pressure pulmonary arterial aneurysm (PAA) secondary to PH, induced by COPD, and chronic pulmonary embolism was made. Despite aggressive medical management, she passed away on comfort care. Giant high-pressure PAAs are rarely reported. This is a unique case that demonstrates this very rare condition in a living patient. The management of giant PAA is controversial. Experts recommend medical management or aneurysmectomy for sizes of >55–60 mm. Death could have been prevented if our patient was screened earlier and received appropriate medical care.

  • cardiovascular medicine
  • cardiovascular system
  • pulmonary embolism
  • pulmonary hypertension

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  • Contributors HKF, AP, BB and FS played a role in planning, conducting, reporting, conception and design, acquisition, analysis and interpretation of data. Each author participated equally in this case report.

  • 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.

  • Case reports provide a valuable learning resource for the scientific community and can indicate areas of interest for future research. They should not be used in isolation to guide treatment choices or public health policy.

  • Competing interests None declared.

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