Invasion into the lumen of the main pulmonary artery is an uncommon mode of extension in lung carcinoma and its prognostic significance remains unclear. We describe here two resected cases of lung carcinoma that showed such a rare tumor spread. Although a preoperative evaluation, such as angiography or perfusion scan of the lung, had shown a significant decrease in circulation, we could not diagnose the intraluminal tumor growth preoperatively. Pneumonectomy was finally needed to perform a curative operation. The tumors were centrally located and showed polypoid growth in the main pulmonary artery. Postoperative pathological examination revealed the tumors to be adenosquamous carcinoma of the lung in both cases. No intrapulmonary metastases were detected. One patient is doing well with no signs of recurrence after a follow-up period of 10 years. Although intra-arterial polypoid growth of lung carcinoma is extremely rare, such tumor extension should be considered preoperatively to perform a curative surgical resection, especially when the tumor is centrally located. While arterial invasion is generally an ominous prognostic factor, curative surgical resection would offer a good prognosis, even for lung carcinoma invading the main pulmonary arterial trunk.
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