Cardiac myxoma: clinical characteristics, surgical intervention, intra-operative challenges and outcome

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The objectives of this retrospective study were to characterize the clinical presentation, diagnostic findings, surgical approaches, intra-operative challenges and complications following the surgical treatment of cardiac myxoma in two of the largest referral hospitals in Jordan.


Medical records of all patients presented to the cardiology department during the period between 1984 and 2016 were reviewed. Criteria for inclusion in the study were: (1) patients who were presented for cardiac evaluation due to symptoms suggestive of a primary cardiac problem, (2) completed medical records, including results of echocardiography suggestive of intra-cardiac occupying mass, (3) the surgical operation was undertaken and intra-operative data was available, (4) a histological diagnosis of myxoma was available and (5) the discharge status and follow-up data were available for at least 2 years after initial surgery.


A total of 27 patients fulfilled the criteria for inclusion in the study. The average age was 42 years. Thirteen of the patients were females and 14 patients were males. The most common clinical presentations were dyspnea (29.6%) and murmurs (22.2%). Non-specific signs, such as weight loss, fever, fatigue, arthralgia and anemia, were reported in 10 (37%) patients. Signs related to systemic embolization were reported in 9 (33.3%) of the patients, involving the upper and lower extremities (55.6%), brain ischemia and vision loss (54.4%). Tumors in all patients were successfully resected under cardiopulmonary bypass support. The tumor was pedunculated in 17 (62.9%) of the patients and the size of the tumors varied from 1 to 7 centimeters in diameter. The tumor was located in the left atrium in 21 patients (77.7%), in the right atrium in 4 patients (14.8%), in the right ventricular side of the septum in 1 patient (3.7%) and involving the tricuspid valve in 1 patient (3.7%). The left atrial approach was used in 3 patients, a right atrial approach in 4 patients and a bi-atrial approach in 20 patients. The most common concomitant cardiac pathology was coronary artery disease in 3 patients and an atrial septal defect in one patient. The most common intra-operative challenges were inter-atrial communication (2 patients), large defect in the tricuspid valve leaflet (1 patient) and involvement of the inter-ventricular septum (1 patient). In the post-operative period, 1 patient suffered a stroke. In the post-operative period, the most common complications were stroke (1 patient) and recurrence of the tumor (2 patients).


The success rate after surgical removal of cardiac myxoma in this study was substantial and complications were rare.

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