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Canadian Respiratory Journal
Volume 9, Issue 5, Pages 347-350
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2002/439459
Case Report

Microscopic Pulmonary Tumour Embolism: An Unusual Presentation of Thymic Carcinoma

Brita L Sperling,1 Donald W Cockcroft,2 and Rajni Chibbar1

1Department of Pathology, University of Saskatchewan, Royal University Hospital, Saskatoon,, Saskatchewan, Canada
2Department of Internal Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Royal University Hospital, Saskatoon,, Saskatchewan, Canada

Copyright © 2002 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. 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.

Abstract

The present report describes the first reported case of microscopic pulmonary tumour embolism (MPTE) from thymic carcinoma. The carcinoma was discovered during an autopsy in a 55-year-old man who had undergone surgery for a pilonidal sinus two weeks before presentation. Pulmonary thromboembolism was suspected. This case was unusual because MPTE has never before been associated with thymic carcinoma, MPTE was the first clinical indication of an occult malignancy, and the clinical presentation was that of sudden onset of dyspnea associated with acute cor pulmonale. The cause of death was determined to be hypoxia secondary to extrinsic compression of the right pulmonary artery and extensive tumour emboli in the small arteries, arterioles and venules of the pulmonary parenchyma. A review of the clinical presentation and diagnosis of MPTE is included.