Pulmonary embolism (PE) is a fatal disease that is very rare in young people. A 21-year-old man developed PE because of a retroperitoneal tumor. The inferior vena cava (IVC) was obstructed by the tumor, and thrombus existed in the right common iliac vein. Thrombolysis and heparinization improved his symptoms prior to urgent tumor resection. A temporary IVC filter was inserted the day before the operation, but 8 h later fatal massive PE occurred. At autopsy, the retroperitoneal tumor was revealed as a metastatic choriocarcinoma. Prophylactic use of a temporary IVC filter might have paradoxically induced recurrence of massive PE in this case.
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