Prediction of Pulmonary Embolism Following Resection of Pulmonary Infarction: A Case Series

Hiroshi Yamasaki, Hideki Ujiie, Tatsuya Kato, Yasuhiro Hida, Kichizo Kaga, Satoru Wakasa, Yoshihiro Matsuno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Pulmonary nodules suspected to be cancerous are rarely diagnosed as pulmonary infarction (PI). This study examined the clinical, radiological, and laboratory data in cases diagnosed with PI to determine their potential utility as preoperative diagnostic markers. We also assessed factors affecting the postoperative course. Methods: A total of 603 cases of peripheral pulmonary nodules undiagnosed preoperatively were resected at Hokkaido University Hospital from 2012 to 2019. Of these, we reviewed cases with a postoperative diagnosis of PI. We investigated clinical symptoms, preoperative laboratory data, radiological characteristics, and postoperative complications. Results: Four patients (0.7%) were diagnosed with PI. All patients had a smoking history. One patient received systemic steroid administration, and none had predisposing factors for thrombosis. One case showed chronologically increased nodule size. Three cases showed weak uptake of18F-fluorodeoxyglucose. One patient with preoperative high D-dimer levels developed a massive pulmonary embolism (PE) in the postoperative chronic phase and was treated with anticoagulants. Conclusions: Preoperative diagnosis of PI is difficult, and we could not exclude lung cancer. However, if a patient diagnosed with PI has a high D-dimer level, we recommend postoperative physical examination for deep venous thrombosis. Prophylactic anticoagulation therapy should be considered to avoid fatal PE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-379
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Gastroenterology


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