Thursday, November 29, 2018

Atrial myxomas

Myxomas are the most common primary cardiac neoplasm. 90% occur in the atria (mostly left atrium). The cells originate from a multipotent mesenchyme that is capable of neural and endothelial differentiation. Myxomas produce vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which probably contributes to the induction of angiogenesis and the early stages of tumor growth.

GROSS FEATURES :Typical myxomas are pedunculated, the surface may be smooth, villous or friable.

HISTOLOGY : Gelatinous material, myxoma cells immersed in glycosaminoglycan. 


1)Obstruction : Myxomas are usually described as "ball valve" obstruction of AV valves which may cause syncopal episodes, Dyspnea.

2)Influenced by position : Upright position may exacerbate the condition whereas lying down may decrease it.

3)Embolization : If the myxomas are friable or villous, fragments of mass can detach and present with systemic emboli.

4)Constitutional symptoms (eg: fever, weight loss) : Some myxomas release cytokines like IL6 which may produce constitutional symptoms.

5)Auscultation may reveal early diastolic "tumor plop".

TREATMENT : Prompt resection is required because of the risk of embolization or cardiovascular complications, including sudden death.
-Srikar Sama

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