Incredible Blood Clot Coughed Up Intact Stumps Doctors
The "rare" intact blood clot was coughed up by a 36-year-old man, who had been hospitalised for heart failure.
The photo of the incredible clot was shared by the New England Journal of Medicine.
Measuring six inches in length, the clot maps out a near-perfect map of the right bronchial system of the lung.
The clot shows the three segmental branches in the upper lobe (white arrows), two segmental branches of the middle lobe (black arrows) and five segmental branches of the lower lobe (blue arrows), the NEJM said.
The unnamed man had been admitted to an intensive care unit for chronic heart failure.
He had been hooked up to a ventricular assist device -- used to help circulate blood around the body -- and administered anti-coagulation therapy (blood thinners).
The patient had coughed up smaller clots in the the days after but during a particularly intense coughing fit this incredible clot appeared.
It was originally folded in on itself, and the treating doctor, Georg Wieselthaler and his team carefully unfolded it, and were shocked at what they saw.
“We were astonished,” Wieselthaler said.
“It’s a curiosity you can’t imagine -- I mean, this is very, very, very rare.”
Sadly, the patient died from complications of heart failure nearly a week later.
It's not the only time the NEJM has reported a person coughing up something strange.
In 2012, it was reported a 40-year-old in the U.K. literally coughed out her lung through her ribs.
The woman suffered from asthma, and and after two weeks of particularly harsh coughing, herniating her lung so it slipped through her ribs.