Hepatocellular Carcinoma: Massive Tumor Pulmonary Emboli causing Sudden Death

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Professor, Consultant Pathologist, American Board Certified Pathologist, Fellow College of American Pathologists. Areas of interest Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology, Cytology, Cancer, Ethics, Islam, Humanity

Hepatocellular Carcinoma: Massive Tumor Pulmonary Emboli causing Sudden Death

Anwar Ul Haque
Department of Pathology, Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, Islamabad

A 65-year-old man had a long history of treatment for his progressively deteriorating rheumatoid arthritis. He was admitted to
with complaints of shortness of breath and pain in the chest. He was found dead in the early morning in his hospital bed. The
autopsy revealed an unexpected hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in his liver with venous extension to the right heart and
massive tumor emboli in almost all branches of pulmonary arteries. Although emboli are frequent in hepatocellular
carcinoma, massive pulmonary tumor emboli is rare; ours is the fourth reported case! The treating physicians must be aware
of this complication as new modalities are being developed to remove the tumor emboli which can prevent sudden death. .
Keywords: Hepatocellular carcinoma, pulmonary tumor emboli, sudden death

         

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