15 April 2009

Medical Oddity of the Week

5 cm. fir tree removed from patient’s lung
28-year-old patient, Artyom Sidorkin, came to a hospital in the city of Izhevsk in Central Russia last week, Komsomolskaya Pravda daily reports.

Doctors x-rayed his chest and found a tumor in one of the lungs. Suspecting cancer, they made a decision to perform biopsy, but when they cut the tissue, they were amazed to see green needles in the cut.
Sound bogus? I thought so too, but look:

5 cm. fir tree removed from patient’s lung

I guess they don't have HIPAA in Russia!   Very cool.

The article suggests the patient inhaled a bud and it germinated in the lung.  But commenters note that there are no roots, and the needles are green and mature, making that hypothesis seem unlikely.  I've seen weirder things in the lungs, so all I'll say is, "Anything's possible."

(h/t Matt)


  1. That ain't no biopsy, that's a pneumonectomy, and there is just no way that piece of a fir tree was in someone's lung. No friggin way. Germinate in the lung? How preposterous. Fir needles are the equivalent of "leaves"and are the end elaboration of a plant.

    That's a hoax, all the way.

  2. Gotta agree. Even if it was able to germinate, it would have to grow for weeks-months to have a stem and needles like that, and it sure is not getting any light to allow such growth lodged inside of a lung.
    Hoax vote here also

  3. Newspaper story I saw had an even more bogus-looking x-ray attached.


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