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Intercostal arteriovenous fistula due to pleural biopsy.
  1. J H Lai,
  2. H C Yan,
  3. S J Kao,
  4. S C Lee,
  5. C Y Shen
  1. Division of Chest Medicine, Tri-Service General Hospital, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.


    A 32 year old woman had a pleural biopsy for a left pleural effusion, which showed caseating granuloma typical of tuberculosis. When the fourth biopsy specimen was removed considerable bleeding occurred from the puncture site. Four days later a bruit was audible over the punctured area, radiating to the back. Eight days after the procedure the patient had a massive bleed into the left pleural space. Selective aortic angiography showed an arteriovenous fistula between the 9th intercostal artery and vein and a pseudoaneurysm in the intercostal punctured area. Thoracotomy showed bleeding from the site of the pleural biopsy. The intercostal vessels were ligated and pleural decortication was performed, and the patient recovered uneventfully.

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