Graphic content: Doctors shocked after man coughs up lung clot

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Doctors are at a loss or words after a 36-year-old man coughed up a blood clot in the exact shape of his right lung, according to the New England Journal of Medicine. Doctors could not believe the clot stayed intact.

The mysterious, cherry-red cast resembles a piece of coral and an image of it has gone viral after appearing in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The patient had been in the intensive care unit of the University of California San Francisco Medical Center for a week with episodes of coughing up blood and mucus.

The patient, who had a history of heart problems, had been placed on oxygen and given blood thinners to help circulate blood and prevent clogging.

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During an extreme bout of coughing, the patient spontaneously expectorated an intact cast of the right bronchial tree.

The pulmonary surgeon Dr Georg Wieselthaler told The Atlantic when he carefully spread out the clot, realising it was the flawless shape, he was "astonished".

A 36-year-old man was admitted to the ICU with an acute exacerbation of chronic #heartfailure.

"We were astonished", he said. "It's a curiosity you can't imagine-I mean, this is very, very, very rare".

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The right bronchial tree consists of three segmental branches in the upper lobe (blue arrows), two segmental branches in the middle lobe (white arrows), and five segmental branches in the lower lobe (black arrows).

Then, a little further down, you saw the same image, only this time, you stopped and realized the picture is actually of a blood clot in the shape of a human lung.

After this episode, he ceased coughing up blood, and his tubes were removed a couple days later.

Sadly, the patient died from complications of heart failure almost a week later.

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More specifically it's a six-inch-wide, unbroken cast of the right bronchial tree, part of the tubular network that distributes air to the lungs.

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