Intracardiac leiomyomatosis: a comprehensive analysis of 194 cases

Interact Cardiovasc Thorac Surg. 2013 Jul;17(1):132-8. doi: 10.1093/icvts/ivt117. Epub 2013 Apr 5.


Intracardiac leiomyomatosis is rare but has been increasingly reported in recent years. Owing to its rarity, intracardiac leiomyomatosis has been reported only as isolated case reports and case series. This disorder is thought to be underestimated and easily overlooked in the clinic, while it is dangerous owing to the risk of sudden death caused by total outflow tract obstruction. We performed an electronic literature search for intracardiac leiomyomatosis and identified 194 cases that were reported in English from 1974 (the first reported case) to September 2012. Our aim is to provide a detailed and comprehensive review of the clinical presentation, diagnosis, histopathological characterization, treatment and prognosis of this disorder. According to our analysis, intracardiac leiomyomatosis is most common in the fifth decade, and the mean age of detection is ~50 years. Most patients had undergone previous hysterectomy/myomectomy or had a coexisting uterine leiomyoma when admitted. The most common clinical presentations were dyspnoea, syncope, oedema of the lower extremities and palpitation. Transoesophageal echocardiography, computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging are helpful in the preoperative diagnosis and to guide the surgical management. Complete removal guarantees an excellent outcome, with no recurrence or postoperative death, while incomplete removal leads to recurrence in one-third of patients. Anti-oestrogen therapy is not imperative after incomplete removal owing to its inability to prevent recurrence.

Keywords: Intracardiac leiomyomatosis; Metastasectomy; Secondary cardiac tumours.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures
  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods
  • Female
  • Heart Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Heart Neoplasms / surgery
  • Humans
  • Hysterectomy
  • Leiomyomatosis / mortality
  • Leiomyomatosis / pathology*
  • Leiomyomatosis / surgery
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardium / pathology*
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Uterine Myomectomy
  • Uterine Neoplasms / mortality
  • Uterine Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Uterine Neoplasms / surgery
  • Vena Cava, Inferior / pathology*
  • Vena Cava, Inferior / surgery
  • Young Adult