An autopsy case of pulmonary artery intimal sarcoma: detailed observation of tumor and its related lesions in pulmonary arteries.


Department of Legal Medicine, St. Marianna University School of Medicine, Kanagawa, 216-8511, Japan; Tokyo Medical Examiner's Office, Tokyo,112-0012, Japan. Electronic address: [Email]


We report an autopsy-proven case of a 33-year-old man who died of intimal sarcoma of the pulmonary artery. A large mass (5×4 cm) occluded the main and bilateral pulmonary arteries. Tumor cell morphology was consistent with that of undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma. Comprehensive histological observation of 18 pulmonary arteries from proximal to distal revealed continuous extension of the tumor from the main to the subsegmental arteries along the intima, forming an arteriosclerosis-like intimal thickening. Distal small arteries were also affected by eccentric intimal thickening or recanalization. Lung parenchyma was not involved, although there were two wedge-shaped small pulmonary infarctions caused by tumorous obstruction of the associated arteries. Histological results indicated that the intimal sarcoma in the pulmonary artery, which appeared occlusive with growth limited to the proximal artery, had in fact already spread more peripherally than expected. Both the proximal lesions and the distal small arteries were affected by peripheral tumor emboli or by pulmonary hypertension induced by the proximal tumor. However, as seen in this case, most of the occlusive tumor was located locally and intraluminally, in the proximal artery, and removing the proximal tumor by pulmonary endarterectomy was considered effective for symptomatic improvement.


Autopsy,Intimal sarcoma,Pulmonary artery,Sudden death,Undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma,

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