Heart 91:142-145 doi:10.1136/hrt.2004.045799
  • Featured case report

Pulmonary artery dissection: an emerging cardiovascular complication in surviving patients with chronic pulmonary hypertension

  1. R S Khattar,
  2. D J Fox,
  3. J E Alty,
  4. A Arora
  1. Manchester Heart Centre, Manchester Royal Infirmary, Manchester, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr Rajdeep S Khattar
    Manchester Heart Centre, Manchester Royal Infirmary, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9WL, UK;
  • Accepted 10 August 2004


Pulmonary arterial dissection is an extremely rare and usually lethal complication of chronic pulmonary hypertension. The condition usually manifests as cardiogenic shock or sudden death and is therefore typically diagnosed at postmortem examination rather than during life. However, recent isolated reports have described pulmonary artery dissection in surviving patients. The first case of pulmonary artery dissection in a surviving patient with cor pulmonale caused by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is presented. The aetiology, pathophysiology, and clinical presentation of pulmonary artery dissection are reviewed and factors that may aid diagnosis during life are discussed.