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Pulmonary Tumor Embolism From Primary Cardiac B-Cell Lymphoma*

Emmanuel I. Skalidis, MD; Fragiskos I. Parthenakis, MD; Evangelos A. Zacharis, MD; George E. Datseris, MD; Panos E. Vardas, MD, PhD
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*From the Departments of Cardiology (Drs. Skalidis, Parthenakis, Zacharis, and Vardas) and Pathology (Dr. Datseris), University Hospital of Heraklion, Crete, Greece.

Correspondence to: Panos E. Vardas, MD, PhD, Cardiology Department, Heraklion University Hospital, PO Box 1352 Stavrakia, GR 711 10 Heraklion, Crete, Greece; e-mail: cardio@med. uoc.gr



Chest. 1999;116(5):1489-1490. doi:10.1378/chest.116.5.1489
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We report the case of a 54-year-old man with pulmonary embolism during convalescence from “idiopathic” pericarditis. A transthoracic echocardiographic examination indicated a large mass within the right atrium. Subsequently, he died from refractory hypotension. On autopsy, two large whitish nodules were found in the right atrium; there was also nodular epicardial infiltration. Both lungs showed multiple, grossly visible tumor emboli with pulmonary infarction and no evidence of conventional thromboembolism. This is the first report of pulmonary tumor embolism due to large cell B-cell primary cardiac lymphoma. Refractory unexplained pericardial effusion, pulmonary embolism without risk factors for venous thrombosis, and/or the existence of a mass in the right heart should arouse clinical suspicion for this rare malignancy.

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