Metastases from renal cell carcinoma presenting as gastrointestinal bleeding: two case reports and a review of the literature

BMC Gastroenterol. 2007 Jan 31;7:4. doi: 10.1186/1471-230X-7-4.


Background: Bleeding from small bowel neoplasms account for 1-4% of cases of upper gastrointestinal haemorrhage. Renal cell carcinoma constitutes 3% of all adult malignancies and often presents insidiously. Consequently 25-30% of patients have metastases at the time of diagnosis. Gastrointestinal bleeding from renal cell carcinoma metastases is an uncommon and under-recognised manifestation of this disease.

Case report: In this report we describe two cases of gastrointestinal bleeding from renal cell carcinoma metastases - in one patient bleeding heralded the primary manifestation of disease and in the other signified recurrence of disease following nephrectomy.

Conclusion: These cases highlight the importance endoscopic vigilance in cases of undiagnosed upper gastrointestinal haemorrhage, especially in patients with a past history of renal cell carcinoma.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anemia / etiology
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / complications
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / diagnosis
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / secondary*
  • Duodenal Neoplasms / complications
  • Duodenal Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Duodenal Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Male
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / complications
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / secondary*