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Revista Cubana de Medicina

versão impressa ISSN 0034-7523


SENRA ARMAS, Luis et al. Value of the post-mortem examination in patients con hidden primary tumor cancer. Rev cubana med [online]. 2011, vol.50, n.4, pp.376-389. ISSN 0034-7523.

Introduction: The hidden primary cancer is defined as a spreading malignant neoplasia disease, demonstrated by the anatomic-pathological study of one of its metastasis without to identify the origin of primary tumor, despite a study considered like "optimal". It is believed that the 4-10 % of all cancers diagnosed and in the 15-25 % of the cases is neither detected nor the necropsies. Objective: To assess the usefulness of the necropsies to identify the primary tumor in patients presenting with hidden primary neoplasia. Methods: A cross-sectional, retrospective and descriptive study was conducted to review the necropsy protocols of the "Hermanos Ameijeiras" Clinical Surgical Hospital from 1994 to 2004. Were selected those patients in whom the basic cause of clinical death according to death certificate was the metastasis of a hidden primary tumor of a specific organ, 95 cases. The following variables were identified: location of primary tumor, histological variety, sites of metastasis, age, sex, predominant clinical manifestation. Results: In 94.7 % of cases it was possible to identify the location of primary tumor. The commonest locations were: lung (38.95 %), pancreas (14.74 %) and colon (8.42 %) and the histological variety founded in a great proportion: poor differentiated adenocarcinoma or undifferentiated carcinoma, followed by the well or slightly moderate adeconocarcinoma. The more frequent sites of metastasis were the lymphatic ganglia, liver and suprarenal gland. The more frequent clinical presentation way of lung cancer was the bone pain, in the cancer of pancreas and ovarium, the ascites, and in the cancer of colon, the humoral hepatomegaly. Conclusions: Authors consider that it is essential the necropsy in patients deceased due to hidden primary cancer since it may to help to physicians and relatives in the diagnosis and explanation of death, and to contribute in the statistical accuracy of the registries of death due to cancer.

Palavras-chave : Hidden primary cancer; metastasis; and necropsy.

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