INTRODUCTION: Patent foramen ovale is a common congenital cardiac abnormality. An association with acute ischemic stroke is well described. Extension of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) into the adjacent veins is common. Surgical resection is felt to be an effective approach to treatment, even in the setting of extensive venous involvement. CASE REPORT: A 55-year-old woman with recently diagnosed right renal mass and cavoatrial tumor thrombus was transferred to our facility for surgical resection. She subsequently underwent open radical right nephrectomy, regional lymph node dissection, inferior vena cava and right atrial tumor thrombectomy, and resection of the infrahepatic vena cava. An intraoperative transesophageal echocardiogram confirmed the absence of tumor thrombus from the inferior vena cava and right atrium and also identified a patent foramen ovale (PFO). Upon weaning sedation, she was noted to be agitated and have left hemiplegia. Her National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) was 30 and Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) 6. The computerized tomography scan of head revealed extensive hypoattenuation right in the middle and left posterior cerebral artery territories. There was associated cerebral edema and 5-mm midline shift. In the setting of devastating neurological injury, her family elected to transition to comfort care and the patient died on the postoperative day 7. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first reported case of intraoperative paradoxical embolism in the setting of RCC with cavoatrial extension and PFO. The presence of PFO may be a risk factor for severe cerebrovascular complications in the surgical management of RCC with venous involvement.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology