Life-Threatening Massive Hemoptysis After Cryoablation for Atrial Fibrillation

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A 59-year-old man developed massive hemoptysis, 1 month after undergoing cryoablation procedure for atrial fibrillation. He underwent emergent bronchoscopy that revealed massive, active bleeding with clots requiring repeated suctioning, epinephrine, and cold saline injection. The source of bleeding was identified in a follow-up bronchoscopy performed few days later—a 2×3 cm area of ulceration of the left main stem bronchus which was missed in the initial bronchoscopy owing to blood obscuring the field of vision. Considering the timeline, the ulcer most likely resulted from cryoablation-induced bronchial injury. Patient remained asymptomatic after stabilization and 2 months following discharge, another bronchoscopy was performed which showed the ulcer to be healing. Hemoptysis following cryoablation is quite rare with a reported incidence <2%. The cases of hemoptysis reported thus far have all been mild and self-limiting and manifesting within hours to days following the procedure. To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of massive hemoptysis associated with cryoballoon ablation, presenting 1 month after procedure.

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