Clinicopathologic and immunohistochemical characteristics of adult primary cardiac angiosarcomas: analysis of 10 cases

Ann Diagn Pathol. 2011 Aug;15(4):262-7. doi: 10.1016/j.anndiagpath.2011.02.007. Epub 2011 May 4.


Primary cardiac angiosarcoma is a rare but the most common malignant neoplasm of the heart in adults. The objective of this study is to analyze the clinicopathologic characteristics of primary cardiac angiosarcoma. Ten cases of primary cardiac angiosarcoma treated in a single institution were analyzed for their clinical, pathologic, and immunohistochemical features. There were 6 men and 4 women, with a mean age of 40 years (range, 20-61 years). The patients commonly presented with dyspnea and distant metastasis. All tumors were located in the right atrium, with a mean tumor size of 6.8 cm. Tumors were hemorrhagic, with variegated tan-brown solid areas. Histologically, they exhibited high-grade morphology with mixed solid growth and anatomizing channels. Frequent mitoses and tumor necrosis were common. The tumors were strongly positive for CD31, CD34, FLI-1, and WT-1 but negative for AE1/3, D2-40, human herpesvirus 8, and epidermal growth factor receptor. The tumor cells were focally reactive to p53, with a high rate of Ki-67 expression. A complete tumor resection was not possible in any of the patients because of the size or extensive local invasion of the tumor. Overall survival ranged from 1 to 81 months (mean, 26.6 months) after initial histologic diagnosis. Primary cardiac angiosarcomas are rare tumors that commonly arise in the right atrium. The mean age is much younger than that of soft tissue angiosarcoma. Regional tumor extension and distant metastasis are extremely common at the time of diagnosis. Surgical resection with adjuvant chemotherapy is currently the preferred treatment, and survival time appears to be inversely correlated with the tumor size and degree of regional tumor extension at the time of surgery.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Heart Atria / pathology
  • Heart Atria / surgery
  • Heart Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Heart Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Heart Neoplasms / therapy
  • Hemangiosarcoma / metabolism
  • Hemangiosarcoma / secondary*
  • Hemangiosarcoma / therapy
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Tissue Array Analysis
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers, Tumor