Yonago Acta medica 2008;51:1720
An Autopsy Case of Acute Pulmonary Embolism after Lung Cancer Surgery
Hiroshige Nakamura, Kenichiro Miyoshi, Yoshin Adachi, Shinji Fujioka, Ken Miwa, Yuji Taniguchi, Yukisato Kitamura* and Kazuhiko Hayashi*
Division of General Thoracic Surgery, Tottori University Hospital, Yonago 683-8504 and *Division of Molecular Pathology, Department of Microbiology and Pathology, School of Medicine, Tottori University Faculty of Medicine, Yonago 683-8503, Japan
The patient was a 77-year-old female who had difficulty breathing at 48 h after undergoing a right upper lobectomy for lung cancer and experienced sudden cardiopulmonary arrest. Emergency resuscitation was performed, and she was therefore put under artificial respiration, but she died 15 h after resuscitation. A pathological autopsy was performed upon obtaining informed consent from the family. An examination of the lungs in which the right upper lobectomy was performed detected multiple embolisms blocking the bilateral main pulmonary arteries to the periphery, and the cause of death was established as acute pulmonary embolism. The rate of occurrence of fatal pulmonary embolism after surgery is assumed to be 0.08%, but the rate of occurrence after thoracic surgery shows a high rate of 0.34%. It is important to implement early detection and the early treatment of pulmonary embolism that occurred by misfortune while also reviewing all risk assessments and preventive measures established under the medical guidelines in order to prevent such cases from becoming fatal.
Key words: autopsy; lung cancer operation; pulmonary embolism