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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Pulmonary tumor thrombotic microangiopathy: a systematic review.

  • Author(s): Godbole, Rohit H
  • Saggar, Rajan
  • Kamangar, Nader
  • et al.

Pulmonary tumor thrombotic microangiopathy (PTTM) is a fatal disease process in which pulmonary hypertension (PH) develops in the setting of malignancy. The purpose of this study is to present a detailed analysis of cases of PTTM reported in literature in the hopes of achieving more ante-mortem diagnoses. We conducted a systematic review of currently published and available cases of PTTM by searching the term "pulmonary tumor thrombotic microangiopathy" on the database. Seventy-nine publications were included consisting of 160 unique cases of PTTM. The most commonly reported malignancy was gastric adenocarcinoma (94 cases, 59%). Cough and dyspnea were reported in 61 (85%) and 102 (94%) cases, respectively. Hypoxemia was reported in 96 cases (95%). Elevation in D-dimer was noted in 36 cases (95%), presence of anemia in 32 cases (84%), and thrombocytopenia in 30 cases (77%). Common findings on chest computed tomography (CT) included ground-glass opacities (GGO) in 28 cases (82%) and nodules in 24 cases (86%). PH on echocardiography was noted in 59 cases (89%) with an average right ventricular systolic pressure of 71 mmHg. Common features of PTTM that are reported across the published literature include presence of dyspnea and cough, hypoxemia, with abnormal CT findings of GGO, nodules, and mediastinal/hilar lymphadenopathy, and PH. PTTM is a universally fatal disease process and this analysis provides a detailed examination of all the available published data that may help clinicians establish an earlier diagnosis of PTTM.

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