Cardiac papillary fibroelastoma: a comprehensive analysis of 725 cases

Am Heart J. 2003 Sep;146(3):404-10. doi: 10.1016/S0002-8703(03)00249-7.


Background: With the advent of echocardiography, cardiac papillary fibroelastoma (CPF) is being increasingly reported. The demographics, clinical characteristics, pathological features, treatment, and prognosis of CPF are examined.

Data collections: Cases, case series and related articles on the subject in all languages were identified through a comprehensive literature search.

Results and conclusions: Seven hundred twenty-five cases of CPF were identified. Males comprised 55% of patients. Highest prevalence was in the 8th decade of life. The valvular surface was the predominant locations of tumor. The most commonly involved valve was the aortic valve, followed by the mitral valve. The left ventricle was the predominant nonvalvular site involved. No clear risk factor for development of CPF has been reported. Size of the tumor varied from 2 mm to 70 mm. Clinically, CPFs have presented with transient ischemic attack, stroke, myocardial infarction, sudden death, heart failure, presyncope, syncope, pulmonary embolism, blindness, and peripheral embolism. Tumor mobility was the only independent predictor of CPF-related death or nonfatal embolization. Symptomatic patients should be treated surgically because the successful complete resection of CPF is curative and the long-term postoperative prognosis is excellent. The symptomatic patients who are not surgical candidates could be offered long-term oral anticoagulation, although no randomized controlled data are available on its efficacy. Asymptomatic patients could be treated surgically if the tumor is mobile, as the tumor mobility is the independent predictor of death or nonfatal embolization. Asymptomatic patients with nonmobile CPF could be followed-up closely with periodic clinical evaluation and echocardiography, and receive surgical intervention when symptoms develop or the tumor becomes mobile.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Female
  • Fibroma* / complications
  • Fibroma* / diagnosis
  • Fibroma* / pathology
  • Fibroma* / therapy
  • Heart Neoplasms* / complications
  • Heart Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Heart Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Heart Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged