A patient with lung cancer and increased right ventricular pressure – should all lung cancer patients be suspected of pulmonary embolism?

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Katarzyna Styczkiewicz

Abstract

Lung cancer is associated with an increased risk of venous thromboembolism, including pulmonary embolism. In some situations, clinical deterioration in patients with lung cancer accompanied by elevated pressure in the right ventricle, usually measured by commonly used echocardiography, may support the diagnosis of pulmonary embolism. However, there are many other causes of increased pressure in the right ventricle in such patients, for example: progression of cancer, pre-existing lung diseases, surgical resection of pulmonary tissue, pnemotoxicity of radiotherapy or concomitant diseases of the left heart. The article presents 2 clinical cases of patients with lung cancer, in which elevated pressure in the right ventricle was resulted from other causes and accompanied the progression of cancer, despite the clinical picture suggesting a pulmonary embolism. Increased pressure in the right ventricle and usually associated pulmonary hypertension, significantly worsen already poor prognosis of patients with lung cancer. The differential diagnosis should, therefore, take into account the whole clinical picture, excluding venous thromboembolism as an important cause of pulmonary hypertension, but also take into account other potential factors to be able to make the right diagnosis and implement optimal treatment as early as possible.

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How to Cite
StyczkiewiczK. (2019). A patient with lung cancer and increased right ventricular pressure – should all lung cancer patients be suspected of pulmonary embolism?. OncoReview, (2). Retrieved from https://journalsmededu.pl/index.php/OncoReview/article/view/413
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