Cancer and pulmonary embolism: thrombotic embolism, tumor embolism, and tumor invasion into a large vein

Circ J. 2006 Jun;70(6):744-9. doi: 10.1253/circj.70.744.


Background: The specific incidence of thrombotic pulmonary embolism (PE), tumor PE and tumor invasion into large veins according to tumor type and tumor site remains unclear.

Methods and results: A total of 65,181 cancer patients were identified from 98,736 postmortem examinations. Thrombotic PE occurred in 2.32% of all cancer patients and comprised 88.6% of the total number of all PE events. The incidence of thrombotic PE was high in those with adenocarcinoma, leukemia and large cell carcinoma, and was low in those with hepatic cell carcinoma. The incidence of PE was high when tumor was present in hematogenous tissue, lungs, ovaries, pancreas and the biliary system, and was low when tumor was present in the liver. The incidence of tumor PE was high with large cell carcinoma, hepatic cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma, and was also high when tumor was present in the lungs, ovaries, kidneys and liver. There was a significant correlation between the incidence of tumor PE and the incidence of tumor invasion into large veins.

Conclusion: The incidence of thrombotic PE, tumor PE and tumor invasion into large veins varies significantly according to tumor histopathology and tumor site.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / complications
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Neoplastic Cells, Circulating / pathology*
  • Pulmonary Embolism / epidemiology
  • Pulmonary Embolism / etiology
  • Pulmonary Embolism / pathology*
  • Thromboembolism / epidemiology
  • Thromboembolism / etiology
  • Thromboembolism / pathology*
  • Veins / pathology