alexa Thrombectomy and Lung Resection for Massive Left Pulmonary Embolism in a 30 Years Old Man in Yaounde, Cameroon | OMICS International
ISSN: 2329-6925
Journal of Vascular Medicine & Surgery
Make the best use of Scientific Research and information from our 700+ peer reviewed, Open Access Journals that operates with the help of 50,000+ Editorial Board Members and esteemed reviewers and 1000+ Scientific associations in Medical, Clinical, Pharmaceutical, Engineering, Technology and Management Fields.
Meet Inspiring Speakers and Experts at our 3000+ Global Conferenceseries Events with over 600+ Conferences, 1200+ Symposiums and 1200+ Workshops on
Medical, Pharma, Engineering, Science, Technology and Business

Thrombectomy and Lung Resection for Massive Left Pulmonary Embolism in a 30 Years Old Man in Yaounde, Cameroon

Nonga BN1*, Ze JJ2, Messomo D1, Handy DE1, Pondy AO3 and Mballa JC4

1Department of Surgery and Specialties, University of Yaoundé I, Cameroon

2Department of Internal Medicine, University of Yaoundé I, Cameroon

3Department of Pediatrics University of Yaoundé I, Cameroon

4Department of Radiology, University of Douala, Cameroon

*Corresponding Author:
Ngo Nonga Bernadette
Attending Surgeon
University Hospital Center of Yaoundé
Tel: 00237699866422
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: May 27, 2017; Accepted date: July 31, 2017; Published date: August 24, 2017

Citation: Nonga BN, Ze JJ, Messomo D, Handy DE, Pondy AO, et al. (2017) Thrombectomy and Lung Resection for Massive Left Pulmonary Embolism in a 30 Years Old Man in Yaoundé, Cameroon. J Vasc Med Surg 5: 329. doi: 10.4172/2329-6925.1000329

Copyright: © 2017 Nonga BN, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Visit for more related articles at Journal of Vascular Medicine & Surgery


Pulmonary embolism is a well-recognized clinical entity with significant morbidity and mortality. It is called massive when it extends over more than half of the vascular bed. In the past, surgical treatment was the last therapeutic option but more and more surgical treatments are performed in several centers with few side effects and a lower mortality rate. Pulmonary embolectomy has never been attempted in Cameroon. We are reporting herein the first case of massive pulmonary embolism in a 30 years old man complicated by lung gangrene treated by thrombectomy and lung resection.


Pulmonary embolism; Embolectomy; Thrombosis; Thrombectomy; Gangrene; Infarction; Cameroon


Pulmonary embolism is a well-recognized disease with significant morbidity and mortality. The mortality in Europe is estimated to be around 300,000 deaths/year [1] and most cases are diagnosed in post mortem due to the non-specificity of the clinic [2]. Pulmonary embolism is called massive when it extends over more than half of the vascular bed. It is a real health problem with a mortality rate of about 50% for pulmonary artery obstruction of more than 50% despite advances in the diagnosis and treatment [2]. In the past, surgical treatment was the last therapeutic option and only indicated in patients with cardiopulmonary arrest, fibrinolytic treatment failure or contraindication to fibrinolysis. From there, the approach of massive pulmonary embolism has recently been modified and surgical embolectomy is performed in several centers with few side effects. Prospective studies comparing surgical treatment with drug therapy concluded that mortality was higher among medically treated patients [3,4].

Fibrinolytic treatment, intravascular thrombectomy, are not available in Cameroon, The only treatment option is low molecular weight heparin followed by oral anticoagulants. Thoracotomy and thrombectomy or embolectomy has never been attempted in our environment as one need cardiac bypass to safely realize these procedures. We are reporting the case of a 30 years old man with lifethreatening left pulmonary artery embolization complicated by left lower lobe infarction and gangrene, who was successfully managed by a thoracotomy, thrombectomy and left lower lobectomy.

Case Report

A 30-year-old patient was referred to us for the management of acute respiratory distress associated with chest pain. Two months before the present transfer, the patient was victim of a road accident, which resulted in a closed fracture of the left leg. Fracture for which he chooses to be treated by traditional massages with no improvement, the patient was walking with crutches because of delayed-union at the level of the left leg fracture. He experienced a sudden onset of a left basithoracic pain increased during inspiration associated with dry cough and dyspnea. He first attended a traditional doctor with no improvement. Three days later he developed sudden severe dyspnea, with greasy cough and heavy expectorate, moderate fever, asthenia, dizziness which motivated a consultation at one of the city’s hospitals who referred him immediately to us as a tertiary center for intensive care management after CT scan and chest radiography were done. The past medical history was not significant. On arrival thru the emergency room, the patient had a Glasgow Coma Scale of 13/15, he was agitated, the Blood pressure was 150/80, pulse rate 126/min, and respiratory rate 32/min with an SPO2 of 66% on room air, the temperature was 39°C. He presented a deep pallor of the mucous membranes, cold extremities. No abnormalities were noted during the cardiac clinical examination and auscultation. There was a decrease in the thoracic ampliation, there was left basithoracic crackles and dullness in the lower half. He still complained of pain on the left leg which was unstable and the 2 ends were mobile and he was unable to walk on it. There was no clinical sign of deep vein thrombosis. The chest X-ray showed a left pleural effusion (Figure 1), the tomodensitometry of the chest showed a left pulmonary artery embolism, massive pleural effusion with resultant atelectasis (Figure 2).


Figure 1: Chest radiography at the time of admission showing a massive left pleural effusion.


Figure 2: (a and b) Transverse and coronal section after a tomodensitometry of the chest: showing a massive pleural effusion, collapsus of the lung. A thrombus in the left pulmonary artery (arrow).

The patient was placed on 4 l/min of oxygen, IV levofloxacine, a left chest tube was inserted and drained 2 liter of hematic fluid. The blood work showed WBC 15000/ml Hemoglobine 6.3 g/dl with a MCV of 65. Platelet count 465000/ml, prerenal azotemia with elevated urea of 0.65 g/l and serum creatinine of 16.5 g/l. The d-dimeres were 3353 U/l. The Coagulation profile showed a prothrombine time of 45% with an INR of 2.2, the ionogram was normal. The patient was placed on enoxaparine 8000 u/12 hours, transfused 2 unit of blood the first day and one unit the next day.

There was no improvement under that treatment, the respiratory distress became worse and the oxygen was increased to 8 l/min with a resultant SPO2 of 85%. He was coughing more and more with heavy sputum. On the fourth day after admission, a decision was made to do a thoracotomy and embolectomy as an attempt for survival.

We performed a left posterior thoracotomy thru the 5th intercostal space. Findings were fibrino purulent effusion, with a gangrenous left lower lobe. The upper lobe was normal. We performed a left lower lobectomy and we removed easily the clot from the pulmonary artery thru the lower lobe arterial stump before suturing. The patient greatly improved from the immediate postoperative period, he was placed on 4 l/min of oxygen which was stopped the next day and the patient transferred to the surgical floor. Enoxaparin was continued postoperatively with per os levofloxacin. Coumadin was introduced at post-op day 2 and enoxaparin discontinued at postop day 5. A Doppler ultrasound of the veins of the lower limbs was done in the post-operative period and was noncontributory (it was not possible the day of admission because the patient was too unstable and unable to be wean off oxygen). The culture of the pleural fluid was negative. The pathology report was compatible with pulmonary infarction and necrosis, with bronchial abscess. The thoracic drain was removed 5 days after surgery and the patient discharged at post-op day 10 on oral Coumadin. The postoperative control Chest X ray on fifth postop day, after drain ablation is shown in Figure 3. The patient returned to Guinea 2 weeks after surgery. The patient is currently doing well. He talk to us on the phone last week, actually he calls us every other week. He said that the left leg fracture has also healed and he is walking normally.


Figure 3: (a and b) Anteroposterior and lateral views of a chest radiograph done on the fifth postop day after drain removal.


Pulmonary embolism characterizes the total or partial obstruction of the pulmonary artery or its branches by a blood clot coming from the venous circulation (lower limbs phlebitis in nearly 90% of cases). The diagnosis of massive pulmonary embolism in this case was based on an acute respiratory distress syndrome with pathological chest CT results showing the thrombus in the distal portion of the left pulmonary artery. Cardiac ultrasound was not performed due to financial constraints presented by the patient and the fact that he was too unstable to be mobilized. In a massive pulmonary embolism, part of the lung is no longer vascularized, leading to hypoxia with desaturation of the hemoglobin, the consequence of which are tachypnea with hypocapnia and alkalosis. Arterial obstruction may thus be accompanied by a pulmonary infarction, i.e. ischemic necrosis of the pulmonary parenchyma. This occurs when the embolus is distal as in our case. These pathophysiological mechanisms explain the symptomatology presented by our patient, as well as the findings per operative. When pulmonary artery obstruction is greater than 50%, the mortality rate approaches 50% [3], and depending on the series, this rate after surgical embolectomy varies from 16-46% with an average of 26% [5]. Surgical thrombectomy is becoming more and more performed although still reserved for massive or submassive pulmonary embolism with severe hemodynamics compromise or right heart failure. Prospective studies comparing surgical and medical treatment reveal a higher rate of mortality and recurrence of pulmonary embolism in medically treated patients [6]. In the past, surgery was the last therapeutic option [6], but surgical treatment as the main treatment is increasingly used and shows good long-term results [7].

Our patient presented a thrombus at the distal portion of the left pulmonary artery extending to the lower lobe branch which has resulted in a lower lobe infarction (the surgery was done 8 days after the onset of symptoms). We have no explanation of the origin of the embolus it may be from the non-united bone since the venous Doppler was negative or may have been caused by daily traditional massage.

Although thoracic surgery and lung resection is regularly done in Cameroon, pulmonary embolectomy has not been done in our country, many patients with pulmonary emboli died. Only few patients have survived massive pulmonary embolism in our environment. We have reported one of these cases in which the diagnosis was revealed by autopsy, following lower limbs trauma and low molecular weight heparin treatment [8]. This is the first case in which we have done embolectomy.

The hypochromic anemia was due to loss thru the digestive system, because the patient complaint of dark stool, and he was taking selfprescribed anti-inflammatory drugs brought on the road for pain. He has ongoing GI bleeding that was not investigated because of instability. The anemia responded to transfusion. And the stool cleared out.

The only medications against venous thrombosis or embolization available in our environment are low molecular weight heparin and oral anticoagulants. Fibrinolytic drugs are not common and endovascular procedures or interventional radiology in general have not been implemented. We did the surgery as a last resort, and it was successful. With this case we may offer surgery in those patients who do not improve after a well conducted medical treatment and who present a distal main trunk embolization as in our patient because the cardiopulmonary bypass is not available.


The case presented in this paper demonstrates the effectiveness and feasibility of surgical treatment for massive pulmonary embolism in an environment with inadequate infrastructure.

Competing Interest

Authors declared no conflict of interest.


The patient has given an informed written consent before being discharged from the hospital for publication, and have accepted on the phone that the case will be reported.


Select your language of interest to view the total content in your interested language
Post your comment

Share This Article

Relevant Topics

Article Usage

  • Total views: 512
  • [From(publication date):
    August-2017 - Jul 20, 2018]
  • Breakdown by view type
  • HTML page views : 471
  • PDF downloads : 41

Post your comment

captcha   Reload  Can't read the image? click here to refresh

Peer Reviewed Journals
Make the best use of Scientific Research and information from our 700 + peer reviewed, Open Access Journals
International Conferences 2018-19
Meet Inspiring Speakers and Experts at our 3000+ Global Annual Meetings

Contact Us

Agri & Aquaculture Journals

Dr. Krish

[email protected]

+1-702-714-7001Extn: 9040

Biochemistry Journals

Datta A

[email protected]

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9037

Business & Management Journals


[email protected]

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9042

Chemistry Journals

Gabriel Shaw

[email protected]

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9040

Clinical Journals

Datta A

[email protected]

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9037

Engineering Journals

James Franklin

[email protected]

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9042

Food & Nutrition Journals

Katie Wilson

[email protected]

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9042

General Science

Andrea Jason

[email protected]

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9043

Genetics & Molecular Biology Journals

Anna Melissa

[email protected]

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9006

Immunology & Microbiology Journals

David Gorantl

[email protected]

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9014

Materials Science Journals

Rachle Green

[email protected]

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9039

Nursing & Health Care Journals

Stephanie Skinner

[email protected]

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9039

Medical Journals

Nimmi Anna

[email protected]

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9038

Neuroscience & Psychology Journals

Nathan T

[email protected]

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9041

Pharmaceutical Sciences Journals

Ann Jose

[email protected]

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9007

Social & Political Science Journals

Steve Harry

[email protected]

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9042

© 2008- 2018 OMICS International - Open Access Publisher. Best viewed in Mozilla Firefox | Google Chrome | Above IE 7.0 version