A rare case of squamous cell carcinoma of the bladder presenting as a metastatic right ventricular mass

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A 74-year-old woman presented with bilateral lower extremity swelling, worsening dyspnea on exertion, and mild hemoptysis. An echocardiogram at time of admission showed a mass in the right ventricle. The pathology of a sample obtained via transvenous biopsy was consistent with squamous cell carcinoma; no primary source could initially be identified. Severe thrombocytopenia, likely consumptive, precluded surgical intervention, so the patient underwent palliative radiation. Unfortunately, she developed fatal respiratory failure. Upon autopsy, the bladder was found to contain polyps of invasive squamous cell carcinoma, similar in morphology to the tumor mass in the heart. Her lungs contained multiple tumor emboli at different stages, which was likely the final cause of her death. Squamous cell carcinoma metastases to the endocardium are extremely rare and without defined treatment. Surgery can improve prognosis in those with primary tumors that are benign or without metastases. In those with symptomatic metastatic tumors, palliative debulking can done although generally will not improve prognosis. It is currently unknown whether radiation improves survival. In this case, irradiation did destroy a portion of the tumor as the final pathology showed extensive necrosis of the tumor; unfortunately, it did not change her symptoms and did not change the final outcome. Copyright © 2010 Joanna M. Bonsall et al.




Bonsall, J. M., Hughes, R., Mosunjac, M., Harrison, D., & Samady, H. (2010). A rare case of squamous cell carcinoma of the bladder presenting as a metastatic right ventricular mass. Case Reports in Medicine, 2010. https://doi.org/10.1155/2010/789609

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