Renal Cell Carcinoma With Cardiac Metastases

Steven Li Fraine, Diana Coman, Madeleine Durand, Mikhael Laskine

Abstract


The median survival of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) is 5 months with a 1-year survival rate of 29%. Cardiac metastasis from RCC is a rare finding and there is scarce data available on treatment options. Recently, the combination of nivolumab and ipilimumab has been approved as a first-line treatment for advanced RCC in patients with a poor prognosis. Here we present a case of a 45-year-old male who presented to the emergency room with cough, dyspnea, and fever. Chest X-ray showed hilar lymphadenopathy and diffuse reticulonodular opacities, whereas a thoracic computed tomography (CT) scan revealed carcinomatosis lymphangitis, pleural carcinosis and multiple heterogenous zones on the cardiac wall. A transthoracic echocardiogram and a cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed cardiac metastases. Subsequent imaging showed abundant distal metastases whereas a renal biopsy confirmed clear cell RCC making it a high-grade stage IV metastatic RCC. The patient was treated with the combination of nivolumab and ipilimumab. The unique feature about this case is that we have found a rare case of cardiac metastases that persists after a 3-month follow-up. Previously, there was only one case report of a patient with RCC and cardiac metastases who showed persistent response to nivolumab after 12 months. The key points from this case report are that a high index of suspicion is required for diagnosing cardiac metastases given that the signs and symptoms of metastatic cardiac involvement can be non-specific. Spread has been described as directly through the renal vein and vena cava or indirectly via the lymphatic system, which confers a worse prognosis. Furthermore, cardiac metastases can be mistaken for thrombi, endocarditis, or primary tumors, therefore echocardiograms can be limiting. Supplemental imaging with cardiac MRI or positron emission tomography/CT (PET/CT) is often needed for further characterization.




World J Oncol. 2021;12(4):124-126
doi: https://doi.org/10.14740/wjon1376

Keywords


Renal cell carcinoma; Cardiac metastases; Immunotherapy; Tyrosine kinase inhibitors

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