Even doctors have no idea how this blood clot, shaped exactly like bronchial tubes, was coughed up by 36-year-old man in one piece. It’s actually rather comforting that experts are just as freaked out by this photo as we are.
According to a report in the New England Journal of Medicine, they said:
During an extreme bout of coughing, the patient spontaneously expectorated an intact cast of the right bronchial tree.
This amazing yet totally gross blood clot is almost 6 inches wide. In The Atlantic they describe what the lead doctor found: Patient bore down on a longer, deeper cough and, relieved, spit out a large, oddly shaped clot, folded in on itself. Once Wieselthaler and his team carefully unfurled the bundle and laid it out, they found that the architecture of the airways had been retained so perfectly that they were able to identify it as the right bronchial tree based solely on the number of branches and their alignment.
While the patient felt immediately relief after coughing up the mold of his right long passages, his health problems were so severe, he died a week later.