Introduction We report a case of ‘STEMI-like’ presentation, with marked STE on ECG in a patient with lung cancer and cardiac catheterization showing no significant coronary obstruction.
A 76y woman presented in the emergency room with dyspnea and chest pain.She had a history of hypertension, obesity, previous cerebellar ischemia and pulmonary neoplasia with involvement of left upper lobe and stenosis of main left bronchus and mediastinal infiltration, on palliative treatment.First ECG showed atrial fibrillation (AF) 150 bpm and marked convex STE in I and aVL leads with reciprocal changes, so urgent coronary angiography (CA) was performed. Initial therapy was BB, ASA and UFH. CA surprisingly showed no significant coronary obstruction. Transthoracic echo (TTE) showed a large mass involving pericardium and left atrium, with infiltration of left myocardial lateral wall with a fingernail shape. HS troponin reached 10xN. The STE persisted on subsequent ECGs. In conclusion the ECG changes are due to neoplastic infiltration of left ventricle lateral wall, while AF is due to atrial infiltration. Discharged on day3, the patient was maintained on palliative care plus BB but no antithrombotic therapy due to very high risk of pulmonary bleeding and hemorrhagic infarction of ventricular wall. In our case no Thoracic CT Scan was performed, so we cannot differentiate between cardiac muscular involvement by pericardial metastasis and infiltration by the primary tumor, which is more likely because of the anatomic relationship between left upper lobe and the heart.
Discussion: Cardiac metastases varies in incidence (2.3 -18.3%), decrease with age, and most frequently origin from respiratory system. They can involve any heart chambers, clinical patterns depend on degree and site of myocardial infiltration.When ventricular wall is infiltrated pseudo-ischemic ECG changes may be induced;persistency of STE suggests tumour compression and/or myocardial infiltration. Patients with known malignancy with chest pain and STE should be screened for cardiac metastases and treated with a single (and not double) antiplatelet agent until coronary stenosis are confirmed. If systemic thrombolysis is considered, a bedside TTE should be performed before therapy.