University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository

University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository




Tom Colletti



Purpose: The purpose of this article is to review the epidemiology, pathophysiology, presentation, diagnosis, and treatment of cardiac myxoma.

Method: A literature search was conducted through Pubmed and google scholar with the search terms cardiac myxoma, atrial myxoma, and cardiac tumor. Twenty-one articles were retrieved and served as the basis for this review.

Results: The research demonstrates that cardiac myxoma is a difficult to diagnose condition given its rarity and nonspecific presentation. However, there is a low rate of recurrence with definitive treatment which is lifesaving.

Conclusion: Cardiac myxomas are the most common primary cardiac tumor composed of mesenchymal cells set within a myxoid stroma. The majority of cases are sporadic, noted more often in females between the 4th and 5th decades but can occur throughout the lifespan.Diagnosis is challenging due to overall rarity although a clinical triad of hemodynamic, embolic, and constitutional symptoms are usually present.While benign, cardiac myxomas can lead to complete valvular obstruction and cause systemic embolism. Definitive treatment requires proper referral to cardiothoracic surgery with local surgical excision.Early clinical suspicion of this disorder, while rare, can spare patients from permanent embolic sequelae (i.e. stroke, pulmonary embolism) or even sudden death.


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