Table of Contents
ISRN Vascular Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 546709, 7 pages
Review Article

Tumour Thrombi in the Suprahepatic Inferior Vena Cava: The Cardiothoracic Surgeons’ View

Division of Surgery, Department of Surgery and Cancer, Imperial College London, London SW7 3SS, UK

Received 9 August 2013; Accepted 27 September 2013

Academic Editors: S. Takebayashi, Y. Watanabe, and Z. Yang

Copyright © 2013 Aristotle D. Protopapas 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.


Background. Retroperitoneal tumours propagate intrathoracic caval tumour thrombi (ICTT) of which we consider two subgroups: ICTT-III (extracardiac) and ICTT-IV (intracardiac). Methods. Case series review. Results. 29 series with 784 patients, 453 with extracardiac and 331 with intracardiac ICTT. Average age was 59 years. 98% of the tumours were RCC, 1% adrenal and Wilms’ tumours, and 1% transitional cell carcinomas. The prevalent incision was rooftop with or without sternotomy. Mortality was 10% (5% for ICTT-III, 15% for ICTT-IV). Morbidity was 56% (36% for ICTT-III, 64% for ICTT-IV) and reoperation for bleeding was the commonest complication (14%). Mean Blood loss was 2.6 litres for ICTT-III and 3.7 litres for ICTT-IV. Mean blood product use was 2.4 litres for ICTT-III and 3.5 litres for ICTT-IV. Operative and anaesthetic times exceeded 5 hours. Hospital stay averaged 13 days. Variations in perioperative care included preoperative embolisation, perioperative transoesophageal echo, surgical incisions, and extracorporeal circulation. Brief Summary. Surgery for ICTT has high transfusion, operating/anaesthetic time, and in-hospital stay requirements, and intracardiac ICTT also attract higher risk. Preoperative tumour embolisation is controversial. The cardiothoracic team offers proactive optimisation of blood loss and preemptive management of intracardiac thrombus impaction: we should always be involved in the management the ICTT.