The unidentified 36-year-old man found himself in the intensive care unit at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Medical Center late last month for chronic heart failure. Even more uncomfortable is the revelation that it was not removed by medical staff, but in fact coughed up by a patient who was suffering from heart failure.
The photo of the incredible clot was shared by the New England Journal of Medicine.
A man coughed up a freaky blood clot that was practically a copy of the inside of his lung, astonishing doctors around the world.
On Monday, The Journal tweeted a picture of a completely intact blood clot, shaped just like the right bronchial tree in the lung.
"You have high turbulence inside the pumps, and that can cause clots to form inside", Wieselthalers told The Atlantic.
During the week of his hospitalization the man's cough reportedly progressed to coughing up blood and phlegm.
"We were astonished", he said.
The right bronchial tree consists of three segmental branches in the upper lobe (blue arrows), two segmental branches in the middle lobe (white arrows), and five segmental branches in the lower lobe (black arrows).
After his extreme cough, doctors performed a bronchoscopy and intubated the man immediately, and discovered some blood in the basilar branches of his lung.
It occurred after the patient had been coughing up much smaller clots for days.
They said it was possible the man was able to cough it up because of its size, rather than despite it, The Atlantic reported.
The bronchial tree is made up of the trachea and the two primary bronchi, which are the tubes that distribute air to the lungs.
One week after extubation, he died from complications of heart failure (volume overload and poor cardiac output) despite placement of the ventricular assist device.