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Marantic endocarditis: incidental infarcts leading to diagnosis of pancreatic cancer


Non-bacterial thrombotic endocarditis (NBTE) is a well-described phenomenon associated with malignancies due to hypercoaguable state. In the setting of pancreatic cancer, NBTE is more commonly diagnosed postmortem. We describe a case of a man who was diagnosed with pancreatic carcinoma after incidental finding of NBTE. Imaging incidentally revealed multiple strokes, bilateral renal and splenic infarcts, while subsequent workup for cardioembolic source demonstrated a 1.1×0.7 cm mitral valve vegetation. As multiple blood cultures were sterile and patient lacked clinical signs of infection, an underlying malignancy was suspected. CT abdomen demonstrated a dilated pancreatic duct, MRI showed a 2.8×2.2 cm pancreatic head mass. Endoscopic biopsy of the mass revealed pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Other than NBTE, there were no other clinical or laboratory findings to clearly suggest pancreatic cancer. Thus, incidental discovery of this mitral valve vegetation led to the diagnosis of pancreatic malignancy.

  • cancer - see oncology
  • valvar diseases
  • pancreas and biliary tract

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