Clinicopathological Characteristics of Cancer-Associated Venous Thromboembolism (CAT-VTE) from a Medicolegal Autopsy

Ann Vasc Dis. 2022 Jun 25;15(2):101-106. doi: 10.3400/avd.oa.22-00034.


Objective: This study aimed to determine the clinicopathological characteristics of cancer-associated venous thromboembolism (CAT-VTE). Methods: A total of 47 cases of lethal pulmonary thromboembolism (PTE) with active cancer were investigated by autopsy records. Results: We studied 22 men and 25 women who were deceased at a mean age of 66±11 years. Nine (19%) patients had recently undergone cancer resection, 14 (30%) were undergoing clinical treatment for cancer, and 24 (51%) were autopsy-proven CAT-VTE. The colon (eight cases), lungs (seven cases), and ovaries (six cases) were frequent sites of a tumor. There were 29 (62%) cases of acute PTE and 18 (38%) of recurrent PTE. The embolic source was detected in 36/39 (92%) cases. Among them, 33 cases were leg deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and 31 were calf-type DVT. Three cases were isolated vena cava thrombi that were present near the tumor. Twenty-three (64%) cases were recurrent DVT. Conclusion: Most of the lethal CAT-VTE cases were induced by the same mechanism as non-CAT-VTE that originated from calf-type DVT with proximal propagation. However, the finding that patients had tumor-related vena cava thrombi suggested that prevention of CAT-VTE requires individualized treatment of patients according to their pathological condition. (This is secondary publication from Jpn J Phlebol 2020; 31(3): 123-129.).

Keywords: cancer-associated thrombosis; deep vein thrombosis; medicolegal autopsy; pulmonary thromboembolism; venous thromboembolism.