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Pneumologie. 2013 Aug;67(8):442-7. doi: 10.1055/s-0033-1344341. Epub 2013 Jul 8.

[Frequency of thromboembolic complications in patients with lung cancer].

[Article in German]

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Klinik für Pneumologie, Lungenklinik Heckeshorn, HELIOS Klinikum Emil von Behring, Berlin.



Clinicians are frequently confronted by thromboembolic events in patients with lung cancer, yet few data are available about their incidence. In order to obtain data on the frequency of thromboembolic events in the venous and arterial systems, all patients with lung cancer diagnosed in our hospital were retrospectively evaluated with regard to such an event.


All patients with a primary diagnosis of lung cancer between January 2008 and December 2010 were prospectively recorded within our tumour registry and retrospectively evaluated with regard to tumour stage, histology and platinum-based chemotherapy. Thromboembolic complications of the arterial and the venous system were included (pulmonary embolism, deep venous thrombosis, myocardial infarction, mesenterial ischaemia, acute limb ischaemia, ischaemia of the renal artery and ischaemic stroke).


Within those 36 months 1940 patients (1209 men, 731 women) were diagnosed with lung cancer. SCLC and NSCLC in 156 (8 %) and 1784 cases (92 %), respectively. Thromboembolic events were documented in 190/1940 (9.8 %) cases, venous thromboembolic complications in 148/190 patients (78 %), arterial thromboembolic complications in 51/190 patients (27 %). We documented 82/148 (55 %) deep venous thrombosis, 98/148 (66 %) pulmonary embolisms and arterial thromboembolic events: ischaemic stroke 23/51 (45 %), coronary arteries 14/51 (28 %), peripheral arteries 12/51 (24 %), mesenterial arteries 4/51 (7.8 %), extracranial cerebral arteries 3/51 (5.9 %).


Thromboembolic complications are a common event in patients with lung cancer. Thus, the benefit of primary prevention anticoagulation in lung cancer patients should be prospectively evaluated.

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