oa Cardiovascular Journal of Africa - Clinical maifestations of primary cardiac tumours



A study of 8 patients with ten primary cardiac tumours, treated by the authors between 1985 and 1993, emphasizes the diagnostic importance of echocardiographic examination. Two-dimensional echocardiography defined the pedunculated or sessile configuration of each tumour and revealed the mobility of left atrial myxomas in their intermittent obstruction of the mitral valve and the effect of tricuspid obstruction by a right atrial myxoma. Seven atrial myxomas were successfully resected in 7 patients. The eighth patient underwent successful resection of three separate extraskeletal osteogenic sarcomas of the heart. The mean age was 36 years (range 21 - 62); there were 5 women and 3 men in the series. The clinical features could be characterised as due to mass effect, arrhythmia, embolisation or constitutional manifestations. Excellent early and late results were obtained in the 7 patients with myxomas. A good cardiac outcome occurred in the patient with osteogenic sarcomas, but ileal intussusception due to an enteric metastasis required bowel resection; the patient died of widespread metastases 18 months later. The familial form of atrial myxoma (Carney syndrome) can be differentiated from the sporadic form.


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