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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 9  |  Page : 435-437

Intra-atrial tumor thrombi secondary to hepatocellular carcinoma responding to chemotherapy

1 Department of Medicine, Maimonides Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY, USA
2 Department of Cardiology, Maimonides Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY, USA

Correspondence Address:
Ajay Vallakati
1016 50th Street, Apt # E, Brooklyn, NY-11219
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 22362455

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Context : Hepatocellular carcinoma accounts for 1-2.5% of all cancer in America with extension to inferior vena cava and right atrium in 1-4% of the cases. Patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma invading the right heart are considered poor candidates for surgery. In the past, such patients had dismal prognosis due to complications like pulmonary embolism and sudden death. Case Report : Our patient was admitted with worsening jaundice, abdominal pain and significant weight loss. Abdominal ultrasound, elevated alfa feto-protein levels and computerized tomography pointed to the diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma. Transthoracic echocardiography demonstrated two masses in the right atrium with the base of masses extending from inferior vena cava into right atrium. The patient was diagnosed to have stage IV heptaocellular carcinoma. This is associated with dismal prognosis. But after being started on sorafenib, the tumor regressed considerably and was barely discernable on echocardiography performed a month later. Conclusion : Though aggressive surgical resection is the best therapeutic approach for hepatocellular carcinoma, it may not always be possible and in such cases combination of different therapeutic approaches such as chemotherapeutic agents, radiotherapy and chemoembolization may improve survival.

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