Renal Cell Carcinoma With Intramyocardial Metastases

Anna M Czarnecka; Pawel Sobczuk; Fei Lian; Cezary Szczylik


BMC Urol. 2014;14(73) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Background Cardiac metastases from renal cell carcinoma without vena caval involvement are extremely rare with a limited number of cases reported in the worldwide literature until now. Nevertheless, this rare location of metastasis may significantly influence patient treatment and prognosis. Cooperation between oncology, cardiology, and urology teams are indispensable in cases of patients suffering from intramyocardial tumors. For these individuals, treatment guidelines based on large-scale studies are unavailable and only case/case series analysis may provide clinicians with decision assistance.

Case presentation In this paper, we report a case of a 50-year-old Caucasian male diagnosed with a 10.2 × 10.3 × 10.0 cm lower pole left renal mass in January 2002. He was subsequently treated with immunochemotherapy, tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), and mTOR inhibitors (mTORIs) - that is sunitinib, everolimus, and sorafenib. In March 2012, contrast-enhancing tumors in the left myocardium (Ø22 mm) and in the interventricular septum (Ø26 mm) were seen on CT. Cardiology testing was conducted and the patient was treated with pazopanib with a profound response. Overall survival since the clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) diagnosis was 11 years 2 months and since diagnosis of multiple heart metastases was 1 year.

Conclusions Cardiac metastases present a unique disease course in renal cell carcinoma. Cardiac metastases may remain asymptomatic, as in the case of this patient at the time of diagnosis. The most common cardiac presentation of renal cell carcinoma is hypertension, but other cardiac presentations include shortness of breath, cough, and arrhythmias. Targeted systemic therapy with tyrosine kinase inhibitors may be useful for this group of patients, but necrosis in the myocardium can result in tamponade and death. Regular cardiac magnetic resonance imaging scans are required for treatment monitoring.