The man who coughed up a lung

Well, a perfect cast at least
Cast of the right bronchial tree


A 36-year-old man was admitted to an ICU in San Francisco with acute exacerbation of chronic heart failure.

Over the next week, he had episodes of haemoptysis with increasing respiratory distress.

But during a particularly intense bout, he coughed up what, at first glance, looked to be a part of his right bronchial tree — well, a perfect cast at least.

It consisted of “three segmental branches in the upper lobe (blue arrows), two segmental branches in the middle lobe (white arrows), and five segmental branches in the lower lobe (black arrows)”, the case report authors wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine

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