We describe a patient with antiphospholipid antibody syndrome (APS) who died because of relentless inferior vena cava (IVC) tumor thrombosis due to an unsuspected leiomyosarcoma. Laboratory confirmation for APS was provided by functional identification of a lupus anticoagulant and anticardiolipin IgG and anti-β2-glycoprotein I IgM antibodies. Although sensitive for detecting vascular obstruction, radiocontrast venography and magnetic resonance imaging and angiography detected the IVC thrombosis but failed to distinguish its malignant nature. Concomitant refractory thrombocytopenia prevented further invasive diagnostic and therapeutic maneuvers for progressive, severe IVC thrombosis unresponsive to aggressive treatment of APS. Deep venous thrombosis refractory to anticoagulant and immunomodulatory therapies in a patient with APS may be due to a concomitant underlying malignancy, such as a leiomyosarcoma, causing vascular obstruction.
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