COVID-19 infection and cardiac angiosarcoma: a dangerous combination—a case report

Santiago A. Endara, Gerardo A. Dávalos, Gabriel A. Molina, Aldo B. Zavala, Patricia M. Ponton, Maribel Brito, Carlos Nieto, Vladimir E. Ullauri
2021 The Cardiothoracic Surgeon  
Background The COVID-19 pandemic has strained all medical systems, especially in countries like Ecuador, where health services were already limited. These conditions, combined with a deadly and unusual disease, like primary heart angiosarcoma, can lead to severe outcomes. Angiosarcomas represent the most common and aggressive primary malignant heart tumor; regretfully, its clinical manifestations are vague and can be easily missed. Most patients become symptomatic when there is local invasion,
more » ... is local invasion, embolization, or metastases, leading to late diagnosis and poor survival. High clinical awareness, adequate diagnosis, and prompt treatment are vital in these rare diseases, in which time is of paramount importance. Case presentation We report the case of a 28-year-old female who had cough, hemoptysis, and ground-glass opacities in the CT (computed tomography). Since Ecuador is in the middle of this pandemic, she was misdiagnosed and mistreated. Primary heart angiosarcoma was diagnosed, and regretfully, the patient suffered multiple complications due to diagnosis and died. Conclusion To this day, most cardiac angiosarcomas are found in a late-stage with distal metastasis and advanced local invasion. Sadly, this tumor is frequently missed due to its incidence and broad-spectrum of clinical symptoms. Considering that its manifestations can be misleading, misdiagnosis can occur, especially in pandemic times. Therefore, knowledge of other pathologies prevents COVID-19 from overshadowing other diagnoses, hence preventing delayed diagnosis or even misdiagnosis and consequent adverse outcomes for patients.
doi:10.1186/s43057-021-00042-7 fatcat:wz77ggsatvebpphbk7zrgqxpee