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Tumours of the heart 

Tumours of the heart
Chapter:
Tumours of the heart
Author(s):

Thomas A. Traill

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198746690.003.0361
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date: 26 February 2021

Cardiac myxomas are rare benign tumours that grow in the lumen of the atria, usually the left. Most are sporadic, but they can be associated with the Carney complex, where unusual freckling is typically the most obvious clinical clue. Symptoms and signs most commonly mimic those of mitral stenosis. Systemic emboli occur in about 40% of cases. However, the most common tumour seen in adult patients is the benign papillary fibroelastoma, which should be surgically removed only if it has been discovered in the search for a source of otherwise unexplained embolism. Primary cardiac sarcomas are found more often in the right heart than in the left. Microscopic secondary deposits within the myocardium can often be found in patients who die of metastatic cancer, but these are rarely of clinical importance.

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