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Deceitful red-flag: angina secondary to iron deficiency anaemia as a presenting complaint for underlying malignancy


A 73-year-old man with an 8-week history of angina underwent an exercise tolerance test at the rapid access clinic, which indicated inducible ischaemia and he was subsequently referred for angiogram. His angiogram demonstrated no coronary pathology. It was later discovered that bloods taken on the day of the procedure showed a haemoglobin of 54 g/L (130–180 g/L). His haemoglobin used to book the angiogram 3 months before was 143 g/L. Following angiogram, a mass was identified in the right iliac fossa and CT scan confirmed a caecal tumour. The patient ultimately underwent a curative right hemicolectomy as an outpatient. The case is a reminder of the importance of basic preangiogram investigations, in particularly a full blood count, to rule-out angina secondary to anaemia through a low haemoglobin. Most importantly, it also questions when the appropriate time is for these investigations to be carried out, prior to coronary angiography.

  • interventional cardiology
  • colon cancer
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