Critical Care and Shock

An unusual cause of dyspnea

A 41 year-old woman case with nonproductive cough, dyspnea, weight loss and fever is described. Laboratories were remarkable for hypoxemia, leukocytosis, anemia and elevated hepatic enzymes. Chest X-ray demonstrated bilateral interstitial opacities. She was hospitalized with diagnosis of suspected pneumonia. Patient’s condition progressed to multiple organ failure and unfortunately, death. The diagnostic of gastric adenocarcinoma with lymphangitic spread was established at autopsy. Lymphangitic carcinomatosis can be easily confused with other interstitial lung diseases especially when primary malignancy is unknown. Physicians must be aware of nonspecific findings of this disease in order to obtain a diagnosis and institute adequate therapy.


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