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Clinical Characteristics of Pulmonary Embolism with Underlying Malignancy

The Korean Journal of Internal Medicine
Korean Association of Internal Medicine
Publication Date
DOI: 10.3904/kjim.2010.25.1.66
  • Original Article
  • Biology
  • Ecology
  • Medicine


Background/Aims The risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE), which encompasses deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism (PE), increases in patients with cancer. Anticancer treatment is also associated with an increased risk for VTE. We conducted this study to investigate the clinical characteristics of patients with cancer and PE related to anticancer treatment in a tertiary care hospital in Korea. Methods We retrospectively reviewed the clinical data of patients with an underlying malignancy who were diagnosed with PE by chest computed tomography (CT) with or without lower extremity CT angiography between January 2006 and December 2007 at Seoul National University Hospital. Results Overall, 95 patients with malignancies among 168 with PE were analyzed. The median age was 64 years. The median time interval from the malignancy diagnosis to the PE diagnosis was 5.5 months. Lung cancer was the most common malignancy (23.0%), followed by pancreatobiliary cancer, stomach cancer, gynecological cancer, breast cancer, and hepatocellular carcinoma. Platinum-containing and pyrimidine analog-containing chemotherapeutic regimens were common. Conclusions PE was diagnosed within 1 year after the cancer diagnosis in almost 70% of patients. Lung cancer was the most common underlying malignancy.

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