• Users Online: 254
  • Print this page
  • Email this page
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 8

Extrinsic compression of the inferior vena cava by a lumbar osteophyte: A rare cause of pulmonary embolism

1 Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Università Campus Bio-Medico di Roma, Rome, Italy
2 Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Golden Jubilee National Hospital, Glasgow, UK
3 Department of Orthopaedics and Trauma Surgery, Università Campus Bio-Medico di Roma, Rome, Italy
4 Department of Cardiac Surgery, Centre Cardiologique du Nord de Saint-Denis, Paris, France

Correspondence Address:
Massimo Chello
Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Università Campus Bio-Medico di Roma
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.5812/cardiovascmed.37974

Rights and Permissions

Introduction: Pulmonary embolism results from thrombus migration into the pulmonary artery, with the most common cause being deep vein thrombosis. However, pulmonary embolism might not necessarily originate in the lower extremities, which necessitates specific diagnostic and therapeutic choices. Case Presentation: An 84-year-old man presented with acute pulmonary embolism, but with no sign of deep vein thrombosis or a thrombophilic state. He experienced complete resolution with medical therapy involving parenteral and oral anticoagulants. During the patient's hospital stay, an abdominal CT scan revealed a 23 mm lumbar osteophyte compressing and displacing the inferior vena cava. The turbulent blood flow through the stenotic area might have caused a thrombus and the consequent pulmonary embolism. Conclusions: This is the first report of pulmonary embolism caused by inferior vena cava extrinsic compression due to an osteophyte. Such a diagnosis should be suspected if the patient lacks deep vein thrombosisandhypercoagulative states. Acutepulmonary embolism could be a rare consequence of osteoarthritis in the spine, although correct assessment is crucial to initiating lifelong oral anticoagulant therapy following the first episode of pulmonary embolism. Indeed, spinal surgery is generally avoided due to the high risks and the fact that extrinsic compression of the inferior vena cava cannot be radically resolved.

Print this article     Email this article
 Next article
 Previous article
 Table of Contents

 Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
 Citation Manager
 Access Statistics
 Reader Comments
 Email Alert *
 Add to My List *
 * Requires registration (Free)

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded121    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal