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Subclavian thrombosis in a patient with advanced lung cancer: a case report

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Author(s): Zarogoulidis Paul | Terzi Eirini | Kouliatsis Georgios | Zervas Vasilis | Kontakiotis Theodoros | Mitrakas Alexandros | Zarogoulidis Kostas

Journal: Journal of Medical Case Reports
ISSN 1752-1947

Volume: 5;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 173;
Date: 2011;
Original page

ABSTRACT
Abstract Introduction Lung cancer is now considered the most common cause of death among cancer patients. Although target biological regimens have emerged in recent years for non-small cell lung carcinoma, the survival and quality of life of patients with this condition still remain low. The five-year survival rate for all stages of lung cancer is 17% or less. Case presentation We describe the case of a 53-year-old Caucasian woman who was diagnosed with advanced stage IIIa (T2aN2M0) non-small cell lung carcinoma (adenocarcinoma) and underwent a complete left upper lobectomy three years ago. After two and a half years of follow-up, she suddenly presented with facial edema and venous distension and was immediately treated for superior vena cava syndrome. Because of a diagnostic check, a major clot was detected in the right subclavian vein. Our patient was informed about treatment options, and she was taken to the catheterization laboratory for percutaneous stenting of the superior vena cava to restore superior vena cava patency. Conclusion Lung cancer has a vast number of complications. Superior vena cava syndrome and thrombosis should be considered upon the presentation of a patient with obstructive symptoms. In this case report, even though we expected the clot to be on the side of the former lesion, it was present on the opposite side. Treatment should also start immediately in these patients with clinical suspicion of thrombosis to avoid further complications, even in cases with a differential diagnosis problem. Finally, although patients with non-small cell lung carcinoma have a high incidence of thromboembolic events, anticoagulant treatment is given only as maintenance therapy after a first event occurs.
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