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Int J Surg Case Rep. 2013;4(12):1156-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ijscr.2013.10.008. Epub 2013 Oct 22.

Cardiac metastasis from gallbladder carcinoma.

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Department of Surgery, Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal, India. Electronic address:



Primary gallbladder carcinoma is a rare aggressive neoplasm of elderly with poor prognosis. The tumour is often unresectable at the time of diagnosis. Metastasis to heart is rare and only 6 cases have been reported in the indexed literature. We herein report a case of gallbladder carcinoma metastasizing to heart.


A 54 year old female presented with dyspnoea and chest pain with past history of radical cholecystectomy and palliative chemotherapy for adenocarcinoma of gallbladder. Chest X-ray showed cardiomegaly and 2-D ECHO revealed features of tumour deposits on the surface of myocardium and malignant pericardial effusion. Mini-thoracotomy and pericardial window procedure was done to relieve distressing symptoms and biopsy of pericardial tissue revealed metastatic adenocarcinoma. In spite of intensive care, patient succumbed to disease in the post-operative period.


Primary adenocarcinoma of gallbladder is the most common malignancy of biliary tract and fifth most common malignancy of gastro-intestinal system with dismal prognosis. It most commonly spreads to liver and regional lymph nodes, very rarely distant metastasis occurs to kidney, adrenal, thyroid and bones as reported in the literature. Metastasis to heart presents with symptoms of cardiac failure due to pericardial effusion. Even with intensive care patients will invariably succumb to the disease.


Metastatic spread to heart from carcinoma of gallbladder is very rare. Should a patient be suspected of or an operated case of gallbladder carcinoma present with symptoms of congestive heart failure and massive pericardial effusion, cardiac metastasis should be considered.


Cardiac metastasis; Gallbladder carcinoma; Malignant pericardial effusion

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