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01.12.2015 | Case report | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

BMC Pulmonary Medicine 1/2015

An unusual case of acute respiratory failure in a patient with pulmonary veins stenosis late after catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation: a case report and the review of the literature

BMC Pulmonary Medicine > Ausgabe 1/2015
Savino Spadaro, Sara Saturni, Delia Cadorin, Maria V. Colamussi, Matteo Bertini, Roberto Galeotti, Riccardo Cappato, Franco Ravenna, Carlo A. Volta
Wichtige Hinweise

Competing interests

None of the authors has any conflict of interest to declare.

Authors’ contributions

SS, MVC and CAV conceived of the idea for the report and wrote the draft. MB, SAS wrote the first draft. FR, RC and RG revised the manuscript. DC, SS helped to draft the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Atrial fibrillation (AF) can be treated with percutaneous catheter ablation procedures into the left atrium. Pulmonary veins stenosis (PV) stenosis is a severe complication of this procedure.

Case presentation

we report a case of late hemoptysis secondary to severe PV stenosis in a man who underwent AF ablation 9 months before onset of symptoms. He presented four episodes of bleeding and developed an acute respiratory failure (ARF). Parameters of respiratory mechanics and medical investigation did not show any abnormalities. Only computed tomography (CT) angiography showed stenosis of 3 out of 4 native PVs. PV balloon dilatation in all affected PVs and a stent was implanted in 1 of the 3 PVs with full restoration of respiratory function during 1 year follow-up.


PV stenosis may be the underlying cause of recurrent haemoptysis after AF ablation in the presence of normal respiratory parameters. This diagnosis can be confirmed by means of CT angiography and magnetic resonance imaging can provide accurate localization of stenosis.
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