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Case Reports in Oncological Medicine
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 345804, 5 pages
Case Report

Superior Vena Cava Syndrome and Colon Carcinoma: A Report of a Multifactorial Association

1Internal Medicine Department A, University Hospital Center of Coimbra, 3000-075 Coimbra, Portugal
2General Surgery Department B, University Hospital Center of Coimbra, 3000-075 Coimbra, Portugal

Received 5 December 2014; Accepted 17 February 2015

Academic Editor: Jose I. Mayordomo

Copyright © 2015 Joana Espírito Santo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. Superior vena cava (SVC) syndrome results from the obstruction of blood flow through the SVC, having distinct pathophysiological underlying mechanisms. Cancer is associated with an increased risk of thromboembolism that varies according to patient-, tumor-, and treatment-related factors. An individualized clinical approach is important to pursue the accurate diagnosis of the underlying pathology causing thromboembolism in cancer patients. Case Presentation. The authors present a case of a 58-year-old male with an infrequent presentation of an unknown colon carcinoma, who has never had any symptom until he was hospitalized with the diagnosis of superior vena cava syndrome and pulmonary thromboembolism. The patient had an advanced disease by the time of diagnosis and molecular alterations contributing to abnormal hemostasis. He presented venous and arterial thromboembolism and developed disseminated intravascular coagulopathy after surgery, anticoagulant and transfusion therapy, dying 40 days after the hospitalization. Conclusion. The authors discuss thromboembolic disease and tumor metastasis roles in a cancer patient with SVC syndrome. Thromboembolism in a malignancy context is a challenging clinical entity. A multifactorial perspective of the thrombotic disease is warranted to approach thromboembolism risk and stratify patients suitable to receive adequate anticoagulant prophylaxis and targeted therapies, aiming to improve clinical prognosis.