Myxomas, particularly left-atrial myxomas, are the most common primary tumors of the heart that cardiac surgeons will be called upon to remove. Although some tumors are discovered incidentally during echocardiographic examination, many produce symptoms caused by the release of inflammatory cytokines, obstruction to intracardiac blood flow, and/or embolization. With rare exception, cardiac myxomas are benign, and excision is safe and curative in most patients. In a 38-year experience at the Mayo Clinic, 100 patients have had 106 operations for myxoma, and there has been only 1 perioperative death. During follow-up extending to 25 years, postoperative survival is similar to that of an age- and sex-matched population, and at 20 years postoperatively, 94% of patients were free of recurrent myxomas. Recognition of familial and syndrome myxomas (eg, Carney's complex) is important in guiding surgical approach, planning follow-up, and predicting recurrence of these unusual neoplasms.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine