Pulmonary vein stump thrombosis after left pneumonectomy, diagnosed based on a high plasma D-dimer level: a case report
A 69-year-old man with locally advanced squamous cell lung cancer in the left hilum underwent left upper sleeve lobectomy following neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy with an S-1/cisplatin regimen. On postoperative day (POD) 5, the chest X-ray findings deteriorated, and computed tomography (CT) images showed pulmonary congestion of the left residual lung. We then performed emergent left completion pneumonectomy. Although the Postoperative course after re-operation was uneventful, and the patient was scheduled to be discharged on POD 12 when the serum creatinine level and plasma D-dimer level increased to 1.34 mg/dL and 17.4 μg/mL respectively. CT images revealed a giant thrombus in the left superior pulmonary vein (LSPV) stump, and we immediately started anticoagulant therapy of apixaban at 10 mg/day. We confirmed that the thrombus was reduced in size on POD 30, and the patient was discharged without any further complications. The elevated plasma D-dimer level was a key finding in this case for diagnosing pulmonary vein stump thrombosis (PVT) after left lung surgery. The 23 reported cases of PVT were found incidentally through follow-up CT scan or after serious complications occurred. This is the first case reporting the utility of the plasma D-dimer test for diagnosing PVT after surgical resection of the left lung. Early detection of PVT by a plasma D-dimer test may therefore positively contribute to better outcomes in the postoperative course of surgical resection of the left lung.