Pulmonary embolism originating from germ cell tumor causes severe left ventricular dysfunction in a healthy young adult with full recovery: a case report

BMC Cardiovasc Disord. 2021 May 26;21(1):260. doi: 10.1186/s12872-021-02066-7.


Background: Cancer associated thrombosis is recognized. However, pulmonary embolism (PE) from testicular cancer is rarely reported. Right ventricular (RV) function and PE are closely related. The RV cannot cope with a sudden increase in afterload because of PE and this causes dysfunction, but isolated left ventricular dysfunction in this context is not reported in the literature.

Case presentation: We report an unusual association of pulmonary embolism and testicular germ cell tumor complicating severe left heart failure and full recovery at three months follow up in a 33-year-old patient with no prior medical history. The diagnosis was made after comprehensive history taking and physical examination with the help of different imaging modalities. Full recovery was achieved after optimal medical therapy.

Conclusion: This case raises our awareness of unusual clinical presentation as we report associated left-sided severe heart failure in cancer-related pulmonary embolism. Pulmonary embolism in healthy young adults warrant in-depth causative exploration.

Keywords: Case report; Heart failure; Left ventricle; Pulmonary embolism; Testicular cancer.