TRALI Syndrome Complicated by Retroperitoneal Bleeding.

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Transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI) is an underdiagnosed and underreported syndrome which by itself is the third leading cause of transfusion-related mortality. The incidence of TRALI is reported to be 1 in 2000 to 5000 transfusions. When combined with uncontrollable bleeding, survival is unachievable. We report the case of a 25-year-old man, who underwent open heart surgery as an infant to correct his congenital heart disease in association with right pulmonary artery atresia. He presented with hemoptysis secondary to aspergilloma and required a pneumonectomy of the nonfunctional right lung. During pneumolysis, significant bleeding occurred from the superior vena cava. The patient required a blood transfusion and was placed on cardiopulmonary bypass to control the bleeding. Simultaneous occurrence of severe pulmonary edema and retroperitoneal bleeding were noted. Approximately 8 L of frothy edema fluid were drained from the only functional left lung starting ~15 minutes after the transfusion and lasting for several hours until the end of the case. It most likely represented TRALI syndrome. Increasing abdominal girth and poor volume return to the pump were consistent with and pathognomonic for retroperitoneal bleeding. Though primary surgical bleeding in the chest was controlled successfully and a pneumonectomy performed without further difficulty, we were unable to separate the patient from cardiopulmonary bypass due to the inability to oxygenate. As a result, we could not reverse the anti-coagulation which potentially exacerbated the retroperitoneal bleeding. After multiple unsuccessful attempts the patient succumbed. This ill-fated case demonstrates the quandary of obtaining vascular access for emergency cardiopulmonary bypass while in the right thoracotomy position. It may be beneficial to have both the femoral artery and vein cannulated before positioning a patient in a lateral decubitus position. In addition, early direct access to the right atrium may obviate a need for femoral venous cannulation. Also, adult extracorporeal membrane oxygenation may be indicated if faced with such a severe pulmonary edema without ongoing hemorrhage.





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Diagnosis | Medicine and Health Sciences | Other Analytical, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Techniques and Equipment | Radiology




Department of Radiology and Diagnostic Medical Imaging

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