Iatrogenic cardiac papillary fibroelastoma: A study of 12 cases (1990 to 2000)

Anil N. Kurup, Henry D. Tazelaar, William D. Edwards, Allen P. Burke, Renu Virmani, Kyle W. Klarich, Thomas A. Orszulak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Cardiac papillary fibroelastoma (PFE) is a rare, benign, slowgrowing tumor of the endocardium. Whether it represents a reactive tumoral lesion or a true neoplasm remains a matter of debate. However, an anecdotal association of PFEs with previous cardiac surgery has been reported. The current study was undertaken to determine the frequency and nature of iatrogenic events associated with PFEs and to provide a comprehensive review of the topic. The study group comprised 12 cases seen between 1990 and 2000, with specimens from 7 women and 5 men. Six developed postoperatively and 6 developed after thoracic irradiation. The 9 Mayo cases represented 18% of all surgically excised PFEs during the study period. The mean age at operation was 54 years (range, 29 to 79 years). The mean interval between the iatrogenic event and excision of the tumor was 18 years (range, 9 to 31 years). In 58% of cases, the presence of multiple tumors was either confirmed pathologically (41.7%) or strongly suggested by echocardiography (16.6%). Among patients who had undergone previous cardiac surgery, PFEs were found in the chamber closest to the procedure. Similarly, in patients who had received radiation therapy, tumors developed in the left atrium, in the right ventricle and atrium, and on the tricuspid valve within the radiation field. In conclusion, iatrogenic PFEs may be relatively common among all such tumors, are frequently multiple, and often involve nonvalvular endocardial surfaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1165-1169
Number of pages5
JournalHuman Pathology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2002


  • Cardiac neoplasm
  • Iatrogenesis
  • Papillary fibroelastoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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