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A Journal on Heart and Vascular Diseases

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Angiology and Vascular Pathology
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Minerva Cardioangiologica 2001 October;49(5):327-34

language: English, Italian

Venous thromboembolism and melanoma

Valente M., Pozzi-Mucelli F., Ponte E.


The association between venous thromboembolism and cancer has been known for many years. The clotting system may be activated because of enhanced platelet aggregation and adhesion or by stimulation from the endothelial cells or the tumour cells themselves. Furthermore, thrombosis may develop as a result of prolonged immobilization, surgery, chemotherapy or hormone therapy. We present a case of a patient who underwent surgery for excision of a Clark level II melanoma on the back who developed pulmonary metastasis four years after the operation. The metastasis manifested with very severe venous thromboembolism which, despite anticoagulant therapy and the placement of a vena caval filter, led to the patient's death from pulmonary embolism. The case is uncommon, in terms of both the rarity with which venous thromboembolism is associated to melanoma, and the severity with which it manifested.

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