Issues in Medicine

S Afr Med J. 2023 Feb 1;113(2):65-68. doi: 10.7196/SAMJ.2022.v113i2.16758.


Rasmussen aneurysms are abnormalities of the pulmonary arterial system caused by tuberculosis (TB). They are associated with a highmortality rate when they cause life-threatening haemoptysis. High TB-prevalence regions have a large burden of TB-related haemoptysisbut often limited resources. This series of 25 patients who presented with life-threatening haemoptysis from current and/or previous TBwere found to have abnormal pulmonary arteries on computed tomography pulmonary angiogram (CTPA), which were judged to belikely contributors to their bleeding, either in isolation or with concomitant abnormal bronchial or systemic vasculature. These patientsunderwent transcatheter placement of Amplatzer vascular plugs in the feeder pulmonary artery. Bronchial and systemic lesions wereaddressed separately as needed. Immediate technical success was achieved in all patients, but four of them experienced intraoperativehaemoptysis related to dislodgement of the occluding platelet plug by the high-pressure automatic injector and wire. At 48 hours after theprocedure, 18 (72%) remained haemoptysis-free. Six of these experienced recurrence within 1 year of their procedure. Pulmonary arteryplacement of an Amplatzer vascular plug is a feasible option for treating bleeding Rasmussen aneurysms, but should be part of a combinedapproach to addressing suspected culprit vascular lesions in all intrathoracic vascular systems.

MeSH terms

  • Aneurysm* / complications
  • Aneurysm* / therapy
  • Embolization, Therapeutic* / adverse effects
  • Embolization, Therapeutic* / methods
  • Hemoptysis / etiology
  • Hemoptysis / therapy
  • Humans
  • Retrospective Studies
  • South Africa
  • Treatment Outcome