CASE PRESENTATION: A 64-year-old Indian male with a past history of coronary artery bypass graft surgery, congestive heart failure, and diabetes mellitus complained of worsening shortness of breath for 2 weeks. Incidentally, a transthoracic echocardiography showed a "thumb-like" mass in his right atrium extending into his right ventricle through the tricuspid valve with each systole. Abdomen magnetic resonance imaging revealed a heterogenous lobulated mass in the upper and mid-pole of his right kidney with a tumor extending into his inferior vena cava and right atrium, consistent with our diagnosis of advanced renal cell carcinoma which was later confirmed by surgical excision and histology. Radical right nephrectomy, lymph nodes clearance, inferior vena cava cavatomy, and complete tumor thrombectomy were performed successfully. Perioperatively, he did not require cardiopulmonary bypass or deep hypothermic circulatory arrest. He had no recurrence during the follow-up period for more than 2 years after surgery.
CONCLUSIONS: Advanced extension of renal cell carcinoma can occur with no apparent symptoms and be detected incidentally. In rare circumstances, atypical presentation of renal cell carcinoma should be considered in a patient presenting with right atrial mass detected by echocardiography. Renal cell carcinoma with inferior vena cava and right atrium extension is a complex surgical challenge, but excellent results can be obtained with proper patient selection, meticulous surgical techniques, and close perioperative patient care.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The clinical characteristics, presenting symptoms and survival of RCC patients (n=151) treated at UMMC from 2003-2012 were analysed. Symptoms evaluated were macrohaematuria, flank pain, palpable abdominal mass, fever, lethargy, loss of weight, anaemia, elevated ALP, hypoalbuminemia and thrombocytosis. Univariate and multivariate Cox regression analyses were performed to determine the prognostic significance of these presenting symptoms. Kaplan Meier and log rank tests were employed for survival analysis.
RESULTS: The 2002 TNM staging was a prognostic factor (p<0.001) but Fuhrman grading was not significantly correlated with survival (p=0.088). At presentation, 76.8% of the patients were symptomatic. Generally, symptomatic tumours had a worse survival prognosis compared to asymptomatic cases (p=0.009; HR 4.74). All symptoms significantly affect disease specific survival except frank haematuria and loin pain on univariate Cox regression analysis. On multivariate analysis adjusted for stage, only clinically palpable abdominal mass remained statistically significant (p=0.027). The mean tumour size of palpable abdominal masses, 9.5±4.3cm, was larger than non palpable masses, 5.3±2.7cm (p<0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: This is the first report which includes survival information of RCC patients from Malaysia. Here the TNM stage and a palpable abdominal mass were independent predictors for survival. Further investigations using a multicentre cohort to analyse mortality and survival rates may aid in improving management of these patients.