A case report of PVOD patient combined with pulmonary embolism: Anticoagulation or not?

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Abstract

Rationale:

Pulmonary veno-occlusive disease (PVOD) is a rare form of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Oral anticoagulation is confined to patients with idiopathic PAH (IPAH), but no oral anticoagulation has been recommended for PVOD, because occult pulmonary hemorrhage was a common finding in PVOD.

Patient concerns:

We report a case of PVOD, who was misdiagnosed as IPAH for 5 years with worsening dyspnea and two episodes of pulmonary embolism (PE).

Diagnoses:

He was confirmed as PVOD combined with PE by biopsy of the explanted lung specimen.

Interventions:

He took oral anticoagulation, warfarin, to treat his first-time PE in July 2010, and his disease was kept stable for about 4 years, until he discontinued the anticoagulation therapy by himself sometime in 2014. Later on, a life-threatening PE recurred in January 2015, so he resumed the anticoagulation therapy.

Outcomes:

Fortunately, the bilateral sequential lung transplantation that was performed in July 2015 in time saved his life. He has been living well without dyspnea and the echocardiography showed the normalizations of the once increased pulmonary arterial pressure and the once enlarged right ventricle of his heart. In addition, to the best of my knowledge, he was the first PVOD patient receiving lung transplantation in China.

Lessons:

We recommend that PVOD patients combined with PE should be treated with anticoagulation therapy indefinitely to prevent the recurrence of life-threatening PE until they get a chance for lung transplantation.

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