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A Journal on Surgery

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Chirurgia 2012 April;25(2):101-3

language: English

Surgical treatment of anaplastic thyroid cancer extending to the right heart

Totaro P. 1, Nicolardi S. 2, Dore R. 3, D’Armini A. M. 2, Viganò M. 1, 2

1 Department of Cardiac Surgery, , S. Matteo IRCCS Foundation, Pavia, Italy;
2 Department of Surgical Sciences, , University School of Medicine, Pavia, Italy;
3 Department of Radiology, , S. Matteo IRCCS Foundation, Pavia, Italy


Intra-cardiac metastasis from a thyroid cancer extending through the brachiocephalic vein is an uncommon and rare complication. Hereby, we report an interesting case of a 67-year-old woman affected by anaplastic thyroid carcinoma with direct massive extension into the right heart. The use of cardiopulmonary bypass, combined with a full median sternotomy approach, allowed the complete removal of the tumour. In such situation radical surgical treatment reduces the risk of sudden death from tumour pulmonary embolism, decreases the probability of local recurrence, enhances the effectiveness of radionuclide therapy and, therefore, offers the best chance of prolonged survival.

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