Tag Archives: elephant man

Chest 115; Proteus

14 Jan
Chest 115; haemangioma C

Chest 115; Proteus

A haemangioma is a benign congenital tumour of blood vessels that can occur in any tissues of the body. Lung haematomas are quite rare and are found incidentally when an X-ray is taken for other reasons. The main problem is mistaken diagnosis as cancer of the lung. If large these blood vessel abnormalities can cause shunting of blood from the arterial to the venous system, and if the abnormal blood flow is large enough can cause the heart to fail.
If, as in this person, they occur in association with other tissue abnormalities particularly bone, fat, or lymphatics, the affected part can grow abnormally and distort the area concerned.
When other parts of the body are affected it is known as Proteus syndrome (Sometimes “Elephant Man Syndrome”), named after the Greek God Proteus who could morph his body into different shapes. This is an incurable condition and medical treatment is aimed at helping the symptoms.
This person had a haemangioma in the right lung associated with several others particularly in the right arm that distorted the arm growth into a highly visible deformity. This caused major psychological problems with social isolation, low self-esteem.
The picture combines the chest X-ray with a series of out-of-focus textures. Selected areas of the textural components were processed and edge-enhanced to produce the ribbon like lines.

I liked this cartoon from New Scientist (13 Dec 2014) with the little piece of text that went with it.

New Scientist

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