Tumour thrombus is defined as tumour demonstrated within a vessel, typically a vein. This phenomenon is classically associated renal cell carcinoma (RCC), where tumour may invade the renal vein and migrating proximally where it can reach the right atrium. Tumour thrombus is usually composed of a soft tissue component and a thrombotic component. In RCC, it may be possible to remove thrombus retrogradely at nephrectomy but the presence and nature of any tumour thrombus is important for determining the TNM stage.
This phenomenon is not isolated to renal cancers and may also be seen in2:
- 1. Glazer GM, Callen PW, Parker JJ. CT diagnosis of tumor thrombus in the inferior vena cava: avoiding the false-positive diagnosis. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1981;137 (6): 1265-7. AJR Am J Roentgenol (citation) - Pubmed citation
- 2. Didier D, Racle A, Etievent JP et-al. Tumor thrombus of the inferior vena cava secondary to malignant abdominal neoplasms: US and CT evaluation. Radiology. 1987;162 (1): 83-9. Radiology (abstract) - Pubmed citation