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Papers of the Week

2020 Jan-Apr

Case Rep Oncol



Nonbacterial Thrombotic Endocarditis and Widespread Skin Necrosis in Newly Diagnosed Lung Adenocarcinoma.


Zakka K, Zakka P, Davarpanah A, Koshkelashvili N, Bilen MA, Owonikoko T, El-Rayes B, Akce M
Case Rep Oncol. 2020 Jan-Apr; 13(1):239-244.
PMID: 32308583.


Nonbacterial thrombotic endocarditis (NBTE) is a rare entity most commonly diagnosed postmortem with rates in autopsy series ranging from 0.9 to 1.6%. A 63-year-old female with past medical history of hypertension and mitral valve prolapse presented to the hospital with shortness of breath, headache, and necrotic skin lesions on her hands and feet. Computed tomography (CT) scan of her chest demonstrated a pulmonary embolus in the right lower lung segmental artery and right upper lobe lobar to segmental pulmonary artery, a mass-like consolidation in the left upper lung field impeding the hilum. CT scan of the abdomen demonstrated metastatic disease in liver and bone and bilateral femoral deep vein thrombosis. Transesophageal echocardiography revealed severe mitral regurgitation with two small mobile plaques on the mitral valve and two immobile plaques on the descending aorta. Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain was consistent with subacute infarcts and metastatic disease. Bronchoscopy was performed and pathology revealed primary adenocarcinoma of the lung. She was treated with anticoagulation and systemic chemotherapy. The patient and family elected to proceed with hospice due to her clinical decline, poor performance status, and poor prognosis after a prolonged hospital stay. Underlying malignancy is detected in approximately 40-85% of patients with NBTE. Lung cancer is the most frequently associated malignancy followed by pancreatic, stomach, breast, and ovarian cancer. Widespread necrotic skin lesions as presenting symptoms of primary lung adenocarcinoma are rare. In the present case, the diagnosis of necrotic skin lesions and NBTE preceded that of the neoplastic disease. Necrotic skin lesions and NBTE can be the first manifestations of an occult malignancy causing extensive multi-organ infarcts. NBTE can present with such extensive skin lesions as a first presenting sign of malignancy. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first case to present with such extensive skin lesions as the first presenting symptom of lung adenocarcinoma.