Cardiac tumors

Rev Med Chir Soc Med Nat Iasi. 2014 Apr-Jun;118(2):289-92.


Cardiac tumors are a group of rare disorders with a frequency that varies in population studies between 0.0017% and 0.33%. There are primary cardiac tumors with an incidence of 5% of all cardiac tumors and secondary tumors (metastases of the heart) in 95% of cases. Symptoms are nonspecific and can mimic many other heart diseases. This fact makes the diagnosis of cardiac tumors very difficult. Approximately 75% of the primary cardiac tumors are benign; the most frequent histological type encountered is myxoma in 50% of cases, followed by cardiac fibromas, lipomas, rhabdomyomas, hemangiomas, teratomas, papillary fibroelastomas, pericardial cysts or cystic tumor of the atrioventricular node region. Secondary cardiac tumors (metastases) are 20 times more common than primary cardiac tumors. Paraclinical methods (especially imaging evaluation) are always necessary for the complete diagnosis: transthoracic and transesophageal echocardiograms are the gold standard investigations in the diagnosis of the cardiac tumors; CT scans together with MRIs are complementary diagnostic methods that are useful when the diagnosis is uncertain. In the majority of cases surgical treatment is recommended.

MeSH terms

  • Cysts / diagnosis
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Echocardiography
  • Echocardiography, Transesophageal
  • Endocardial Fibroelastosis / diagnosis
  • Fibroma / diagnosis
  • Heart Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Heart Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Heart Neoplasms / surgery
  • Hemangioma / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Lipoma / diagnosis
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Myxoma / diagnosis
  • Prevalence
  • Rhabdomyoma / diagnosis
  • Romania / epidemiology
  • Teratoma / diagnosis
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed