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      Malignant Pleural/Pericardial Effusion with Tamponade and Life-Threatening Reversible Myocardial Depression in a Case of an Initial Presentation of Lung Adenocarcinoma


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          We present a case of a middle-aged woman in cardiac tamponade. Following pericardiocentesis that removed 1,500 ml of hemorrhagic fluid, the patient exhibited cardiogenic shock; LVEF, at its nadir, on inotrope, was less than 20%. Ventricular function slowly improved, with inotropic support, to the normal range by the 25th day of hospitalization. Cardiac failure in malignancy has often been attributed to multi-system failure; this case showed a hereto unrecognized clinical phenomenon – ‘malignancy-associated myopericarditis’. While the direct link of cause and effect cannot be made with certainty, the case should be instructive to other clinicians who encounter similar life-threatening presentations of cardiac decompensation in malignancy.

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          Most cited references 10

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          Nonbacterial thrombotic endocarditis: a review.

          The entity of NBTE is reviewed in this article. Historic aspects, epidemiology, and pathogenesis are discussed. The clinicopathologic findings are emphasized as well as the potential for antemortem diagnosis and therapy. NBTE is diagnosed infrequently before death. Clinical suspicion is aroused in patients with an underlying process such as malignancy, DIC, or a spectrum of other diseases and evidence of pulmonary and/or systemic embolization. Systemic infection must be excluded. Two-dimensional echocardiography can be utilized to confirm the diagnosis. Anticoagulation therapy with heparin may prevent embolization.
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            Cardiac metastases

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              Cardiac metastasis of lung cancer. A study of metastatic pathways and clinical manifestations.

              Although lung cancer frequently spreads to the heart, details of cardiac metastases of lung cancer have not been fully discussed. The authors attempted to elucidate the relationship between the mechanisms of cardiac metastasis and a variety of clinical manifestations caused by cardiac metastasis. Clinical and autopsy records were reviewed in 74 autopsied cases of lung cancer. In cases with cardiac metastasis, the metastatic pathways to the heart were determined by the macroscopic examinations, and the relationship between the metastatic pathways and the clinical manifestations were studied. Metastases to the pericardium or heart were seen in 23 cases (31%). A lymphatic metastatic pathway was detected in 18 cases (hilar lymphatic routing in 12 cases, and mediastinal lymphatic routing in 6 cases), and a hematogenous metastatic pathway was detected in 5 cases. Malignant pericardial effusion was documented in 15 of 23 cases. The metastatic pathway in 14 of 15 cases was lymphatic (hilar lymphatic routing in 10 cases, and mediastinal lymphatic routing in 4 cases). Patients showing lymphatic metastasis had higher incidence of malignant pericardial effusion than those with hematogenous metastasis (P less than 0.05). Of 23 cases of cardiac metastasis, myocardial infarction was found in 1 case, resulting from the compression of the coronary arteries by the tumor. Concurrent supraventricular arrhythmias were recorded in eight cases with cardiac metastasis. Patients with cardiac metastasis had higher incidence of arrhythmia than those without cardiac metastasis (P less than 0.05). In cases of cardiac metastasis, patients with arrhythmia were older (P less than 0.01) than those without arrhythmia. The authors concluded that the hilar lymphatic pathway is essential for early development of malignant pericardial effusion in lung cancer and that aging and cardiac metastasis may be responsible for arrhythmia in patients with lung cancer.

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                November 2005
                24 November 2005
                : 105
                : 1
                : 30-33
                Sections of aCardiology and bHematology and Oncology, Department of Medicine, Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Houston, Tex., USA
                88344 Cardiology 2006;105:30–33
                © 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel

                Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

                Page count
                Figures: 2, References: 14, Pages: 4
                Case Report – Heart Failure


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