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Oral Oncol. 2000 Jan;36(1):125-8.

Pulmonary lymphangitic carcinomatosis from an oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma: a case report.

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Department of Oral Surgery, Kochi Medical School, Japan.


Pulmonary lymphangitic carcinomatosis (PLC), a form of lymphatic spread of cancer cells, from head and neck cancers is extremely rare. We report here a case of PLC from an oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma in a 68-year-old man. The patient underwent inductive chemoradioimmunotherapy which resulted in complete tumor remission. The tumor, however, recurred 6 months later and was resected. Late metastasis occurred in the ipsilateral cervical lymph nodes 13 months post surgery and these lymph nodes were dissected. Three months later, the patient suffered from a fever, cough and dyspnea and a chest radiograph revealed an interstitial linear pattern from the right hilum to the right upper lung field. Without diagnosis of the pulmonary lesion, swelling of the bilateral lymph nodes followed after a few months and dyspnea worsened with spread of the reticular shadow and appearance of Kerley's B line on the roentgenogram, suggesting PLC. The patient gradually became more distressed and finally died 6 months after the onset of dyspnea. The microscopy of the autopsied pulmonary tissue revealed tumor cell nests in the lymph vessels in the septa and the pulmonary lesion was histopathologically diagnosed as PLC. The present case indicates that we should consider PLC when cough and dyspnea with reticular shadows and Kerley's B line are observed in patients with head and neck carcinoma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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