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Cardiac tumors in a tertiary care cancer hospital: clinical features, echocardiographic findings, treatment and outcomes

Heart International 2012;7(1):e4


Cardiac tumors are a rare entity, comprised of tumors with diverse histology and natural history. We report the clinical characteristics, echocardiograhic findings, therapy and outcome of 59 patients with primary and metastatic cardiac tumors. Our institutional echocardiogram data base from 1993 through 2005 was reviewed to identify patients diagnosed with intra-cardiac tumor. A total of 59 patients with cardiac tumors were identified and included in the study. The patients’ characteristics, presenting symptoms, diagnostic tests, location, histology of the tumor, treatment and the one year survival rate of this population was collected from the medical records. Of the 59 cardiac tumor cases, 16 (27%) were primary cardiac tumors and 43 (73%) were secondary cardiac tumors. The most common primary tumor was sarcoma affecting 13 (81%) of the 16 cases. Of these, 5 patients were angiosarcoma, 5 unclassified sarcoma, one myxoid sarcoma and 2 malignant fibrous histiocytoma. The mean age at presentation was 41.1 years, and the most common location was right atrium affecting 6 cases (37.5%). The most common symptom of dyspnea was present in 10 (62.5%) cases. Eleven (25.6%) of the 43 secondary cardiac tumors were metastasis from renal cell carcinoma. The mean age at presentation was 55.4 years. Right atrium was the most frequent location affecting 18 (42%) of the 43 patients. The most common presenting symptom was dyspnea in 15 (35%) cases. For both primary and secondary tumors, dyspnea was the most common symptom and right atrium was most frequently involved. Sarcoma was the most common primary cardiac tumor while metastasis from renal cell carcinoma was the most common secondary tumor.


Cardiac tumors, tertiary care cancer hospital.


June 24, 2011



Published Online

June 01, 2012


Syed Wamique Yusuf, Department of Cardiology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd, Unit 1451, Houston, TX 77030, USA. Tel. +1.713.792.8472 - Fax: +1.713.745.1942. E-mail:

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