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Welcome, medical contents search April 26, 2013
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Atrial Myxoma

more about Atrial Myxoma


  • This is a primary tumor of the heart.  It is quite rare.  It usually begins in the septum between the two heart ventricles, with 80% of the tumors growing into the left atrium.  Though it is a benign tumor, it can become serious when a part of it breaks off and embolizes (moves) into the blood vessels and causes an obstruction of blood flow.  If, for example, the tumor embolizes to the brain, it can block off part of the blood supply to the brain and cause a stroke.

  • Chest pain
  • Palpitations
  • Shortness of breath
  • Edema (swelling of the legs)
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fainting
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Loss of energy
  • Weight loss
  • Clubbed fingers
  • Vision loss
  • Confusion

  • Examination:
    1. Ophthalmologic examination may show retinal infarction (death to the retinal tissue) due to emboli.
    2. Jugular venous distention -- neck veins show increased bulging.
    3. Heart -- may reveal a middiastolic or presystolic murmur (resembles the murmur of mitral or tricuspid stenosis).  The heart rhythm may be irregular.
    4. Lung exam may show crackles (left sided myxoma only).
  • Tests:
    1. Echocardiogram will show the myxoma and related heart valve problems.
    2. Other tests that may show the myxoma include Chest X-Ray, CT scan, MRI, and cardiac catheterization.
    3. EKG may show atrial fibrillation.
    4. Blood tests: Complete blood count may show anemia.  Sedimentation rate is decreased.

  • Surgical tumor removal is the only treatment.

more about Atrial Myxoma

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