Post-operative imaging of pulmonary vessels

Carlos Santiago Restrepo, Daniel Vargas, Santiago Martinez-Jimenez, Daniel Ocazionez


Complications following cardiothoracic surgery are responsible for prolonged hospital stay, increase cost in patient care and increased morbidity and mortality. Vascular complications in particular are significant contributors to poor patient outcome due to either hemorrhage or thrombosis and ischemia. Evaluation of vascular complications in the postoperative patient requires a rapid and reliable imaging approach. Vascular complications after cardiothoracic surgery include pulmonary artery thrombosis, pseudoaneurysm, pulmonary vein thrombosis, vascular fistulas, stenosis and infarction. Multidetector CT (MDCT), often the imaging modality of choice, offers a one-stop-shop capability to visualize the entire cardiothoracic vasculature, airways, lung parenchyma, mediastinum and chest wall with excellent temporal and spatial resolution.