An 80-Year-Old Woman With Progressive Shortness of Breath and a Mediastinal Mass

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An 80-year-old woman from Iran presented to our institution for evaluation of insidious onset of dyspnea and progressive hypoxemia. She had a history of hypertension, COPD attributed to secondhand smoke, and an unprovoked pulmonary embolus that was treated with lifelong anticoagulation. In addition, she had a history of latent TB status posttreatment with isoniazid 10 years prior. One year ago, home oxygen therapy was started at 4 L/min via nasal cannula, and because of her decline, her son had brought her to the United States 3 months earlier for medical help. After a contrast-enhanced thoracic CT scan followed by a nondiagnostic thoracentesis, another hospital informed her that she likely had inoperable lung cancer. She presented to our institution for a second opinion.

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