Massive hemoptysis is a serious complication in Cystic Fibrosis (CF), occurring commonly in older patients. Bronchial artery embolization (BAE) can be performed to stop the bleeding. BAE is generally safe and effective, but can sometimes lead to serious complications. We report the first case of temporary unilateral diaphragmatic paralysis associated to lung consolidation following BAE in a pediatric CF female patient. This complication worsened the lung function of the patient who underwent lung transplantation after 9 months.
A 14 years old female CF patient followed by the CF center of Florence presented low-grade fever, cough increase and recurrent episodes of major hemorrhages such as to carry out a BAE. Within 24 h the patient started to complain of severe thoracic pain in the right hemithorax, increased dyspnea and fever. A computed tomographic angiography and a dynamic fluoroscopic evaluation revealed the right diaphragmatic paralysis, not present before the procedure. After 4 days the clinical condition and radiological imaging had improved with restored mobility of the right hemidiaphragm. Nine months later, she required mechanical ventilation, and subsequently the initiation of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) for a pulmonary exacerbation with septic shock. Lung transplantation in ECMO was performed with success.
Clinicians should be aware of the possibility of phrenic nerve injury with BAE in pediatric CF patients.