In the human heart, the pulmonary trunk (pulmonary artery or main pulmonary artery) begins at the base of the right ventricle. It is short and wide—approximately 5 centimetres (2.0 in) in length and 3 centimetres (1.2 in) in diameter. It then branches into two pulmonary arteries (left and right), which deliver deoxygenated blood to the corresponding lung.
The pulmonary artery is relevant in a number of clinical states. Pulmonary hypertension is used to describe an increase in the pressure of the pulmonary artery, and may be defined as a mean pulmonary artery pressure of greater than 25mmHg.:720 This may occur as a result of heart problems such as heart failure, lung or airway disease such as COPD or scleroderma, or thromboembolic disease such as pulmonary embolism or emboli seen in sickle cell anaemia.:720-721
Pulmonary embolism refers to an embolus that lodges in the pulmonary circulation. This may arise from a deep venous thrombosis, especially after a period of immobility. A pulmonary embolus is a common cause of death in patients with cancer and stroke.:720-721 A large pulmonary embolus affecting the pulmonary trunk is called a saddle embolus.
^Table 30-1 in: Trudie A Goers; Washington University School of Medicine Department of Surgery; Klingensmith, Mary E; Li Ern Chen; Sean C Glasgow (2008). The Washington manual of surgery. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. ISBN0-7817-7447-0.
^ abcdeDavidson's principles and practice of medicine. (21st ed. ed.). Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier. 2010. ISBN978-0-7020-3084-0.