Home | About us | Editorial Board | Search | Ahead of print | Current Issue | Archives | Instructions | Online submissionContact Us   |  Subscribe   |  Advertise   |  Login  Page layout
Wide layoutNarrow layoutFull screen layout
Lung India Official publication of Indian Chest Society  
  Users Online: 1334   Home Print this page  Email this page Small font size Default font size Increase font size

  Table of Contents    
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 38  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 88-89  

Endovascular management of spontaneous inferior phrenic artery pseudoaneurysm presenting as massive hemothorax

Department of Radiodiagnosis, PGIMER, Chandigarh, India

Date of Web Publication31-Dec-2020

Correspondence Address:
Ujjwal Gorsi
Department of Radiodiagnosis, PGIMER, Chandigarh
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/lungindia.lungindia_46_20

Rights and Permissions

How to cite this article:
Agarwal V, Gorsi U, Singh T, Sandhu M S. Endovascular management of spontaneous inferior phrenic artery pseudoaneurysm presenting as massive hemothorax. Lung India 2021;38:88-9

How to cite this URL:
Agarwal V, Gorsi U, Singh T, Sandhu M S. Endovascular management of spontaneous inferior phrenic artery pseudoaneurysm presenting as massive hemothorax. Lung India [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Jan 19];38:88-9. Available from: https://www.lungindia.com/text.asp?2021/38/1/88/306017


Spontaneous massive hemothorax secondary to the inferior phrenic artery pseudoaneurysm (IPAP) is very rare. Few case reports of hemothorax caused by IPAP secondary to pancreatitis, trauma, tuberculosis, or iatrogenic injury have been described in the literature.[1],[2] Delayed hemothorax secondary to IPAP has also been described in the literature.[3] Superselective catheterization and endovascular angioembolization of these pseudoaneurysms is an effective and minimally invasive procedure for the treatment of IPAP.

We report a case of a 38-year-old male who was brought to our hospital emergency department with complaints of massive hemoptysis (around 350 ml) and breathlessness. The patient had a history of blood-stained sputum for 3 days for which he was admitted at an outside hospital and was transferred to our institute after a bout of massive hemoptysis. On admission, his oxygen saturation was 94%; hemoglobin was 9.8 g/dL; pH was 7.33; PaO2 was 120 mmHg; and PaCO2 was 29.0 mmHg. He was hypotensive with mild tachycardia (blood pressure [BP]: 101/61 mmHg and heart rate: 110 bpm). Coagulation profiles (platelets – 1.1 lacs, prothrombin time – 13 s, and international normalized ratio – 1.1) were normal. No history of any trauma, surgery, or medication for any chronic illness was present. Vasculitis workup was also negative.

Chest radiography showed massive right hemothorax with mediastinal shift. A computed tomography (CT) scan done outside showed pseudoaneurysm in the right lower thoracic cavity. We repeated CT pulmonary angiography and aortogram to confirm the parent vessel of a pseudoaneurysm. A pseudoaneurysm measuring 3.2 cm × 3 cm was seen in the right lower hemithorax arising from a branch of dilated and tortuous inferior phrenic artery [Figure 1]. In view of falling BP and oxygen saturation levels, the patient was referred for urgent endovascular angioembolization of the pseudoaneurysm. Using Sim 1 catheter and Terumo J-shaped guidewire, selective cannulation of the right inferior phrenic artery was done at D12-L1 level. Angiography confirmed the presence of pseudoaneurysm from the intrathoracic branch of the inferior phrenic artery [Figure 2]. Superselective catheterization of that branch was done using progreat microcatheter (Terumo Interventional Systems, NJ, USA), and embolization was performed using two 2 mm × 2 mm pushable microcoils. Post-embolization angiogram confirmed complete occlusion of pseudoaneurysm [Figure 2]. The patient's postoperative course was uneventful. He was hemodynamically stable (BP: 122/80 mmHg and heart rate around 78 bpm) and was discharged after 2 days with improving blood parameters (hematocrit 36% and hemoglobin 9.5 g/dL).
Figure 1: Upper row images show hypertrophied inferior phrenic artery from the aorta (white arrow) reaching up to intrathoracic pseudoaneurysm (black arrow). Associated right hemithoracic hemothorax seen (white arrow).Lower row images show intrathoracic pseudoaneurysm (black arrow) with hemothorax (white arrow)

Click here to view
Figure 2: Right side image shows pseudoaneurysm opacifying through hypertrophied right phrenic artery. Left side image shows coil occlusion of the feeding branch with nonopacification of the pseudoaneurysm

Click here to view

   Discussion Top

Spontaneous IPAP is rare. After an extensive literature search, we could not find even a single case report of spontaneous IPAP causing massive hemothorax. Blunt thoracic trauma and pulmonary tuberculosis with nonbronchial systemic circulation are the most common causes described in the literature.[1] Since the inferior phrenic artery arises directly from the aorta or celiac artery, high systemic pressure might lead to massive hemothorax in cases of IPAP. Depending on the site of injury of the inferior phrenic artery, the presentation could be pericardial tamponade,[4] intraperitoneal hemorrhage,[5] subcapsular hematoma,[5] or hemothorax.[1]

Endovascular angioembolization is reliable and effective management as compared to thoracotomy for controlling intrathoracic arterial hemorrhage.[6] Carrillo et al. described high morbidity and high failure rates to find the source of hemorrhage associated with thoracotomy, making subtraction angiography followed by transcatheter superselective embolization more accurate, and reliable method for treatment.[7] However, in cases of associated injuries such as diaphragmatic injury thoracotomy might be effective single-stage management.[1] In our case, the bleeding point was identified on CT angiogram, and endovascular treatment was performed. For the management of hemothorax, chest tube insertion should be done only after the management of pseudoaneurysm to prevent rebleeding.[3] We did ultrasonography-guided pigtail drainage of the hemothorax on the second day after which our patient was discharged with improving hemodynamic parameters.

   Conclusion Top

Spontaneous IPAP is rare. Noninvasive modalities such as CT angiography can suggest the diagnosis. Endovascular angioembolization is a minimally invasive procedure and is the treatment of choice for the management of such pseudoaneurysms.

Declaration of patient consent

The authors certify that they have obtained all appropriate patient consent forms. In the form the patient(s) has/have given his/her/their consent for his/her/their images and other clinical information to be reported in the journal. The patients understand that their names and initials will not be published and due efforts will be made to conceal their identity, but anonymity cannot be guaranteed.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

   References Top

Aoki M, Shibuya K, Kaneko M, Koizumi A, Murata M, Nakajima J, et al. Massive hemothorax due to inferior phrenic artery injury after blunt trauma. World J Emerg Surg 2015;10:58.  Back to cited text no. 1
Bartolome B, Kohi MP, Fidelman N, Taylor AG, Kolli KP, LaBerge JM, et al. Hemothorax resulting from injury to the right inferior phrenic artery following transhepatic procedures. J Vasc Interv Radiol 2015;26:600-1.  Back to cited text no. 2
Yamanashi K, Nakao S, Idoguchi K, Matsuoka T. A case of delayed hemothorax with an inferior phrenic artery injury detected and treated endovascularly. Clin Case Rep 2015;3:660-3.  Back to cited text no. 3
Jones BV, Vu D. Diagnosis of posttraumatic pericardial tamponade by plain film and computed tomography and control of bleeding by embolotherapy of the left inferior phrenic artery. Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol 1993;16:183-5.  Back to cited text no. 4
Mizobata Y, Yokota J, Yajima Y, Sakashita K. Two cases of blunt hepatic injury with active bleeding from the right inferior phrenic artery. J Trauma 2000;48:1153-5.  Back to cited text no. 5
Ogawa F, Naito M, Iyoda A, Satoh Y. Report of a rare case: Occult hemothorax due to blunt trauma without obvious injury to other organs. J Cardiothorac Surg 2013;8:205.  Back to cited text no. 6
Carrillo EH, Heniford BT, Senler SO, Dykes JR, Maniscalco SP, Richardson JD. Embolization therapy as an alternative to thoracotomy in vascular injuries of the chest wall. Am Surg 1998;64:1142-8.  Back to cited text no. 7


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]


    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
    Access Statistics
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

  In this article
    Article Figures

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded18    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal