Cardiac masses: assessment by MR imaging

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1989 Mar;152(3):469-73. doi: 10.2214/ajr.152.3.469.


The purpose of this study was to assess the role of MR imaging for evaluating suspected cardiac tumors or paracardiac masses involving the heart. Sixty-one patients with clinical or radiologic evidence of cardiac masses were imaged with ECG-gated MR at 1.5 T (22 patients) or 0.15 T (39 patients). Fifty-one patients had echocardiography previously. Among the tissue diagnoses were myxoma (six); fibroma, rhabdomyoma, plasma cell granuloma, lipomatous hypertrophy of the atrial septum, mesothelioma, and thymoma (two each); and leiomyosarcoma, lymphoma, metastatic carcinoid, melanoma, malignant fibrous histiocytoma, hemangiopericytoma, and lung spindle cell sarcoma (one each). MR imaging demonstrated masses in 50 patients (82%); they were centered in the heart in 32, pericardial in nine, and juxtacardiac in nine. MR imaging provided diagnostic information that affected clinical management or surgical planning in 53 patients (87%), including 11 (18%) in whom cardiac mass was excluded by MR. The ability to provide a global view of cardiac anatomy and other unique capabilities of MR imaging give the procedure an important role in the diagnosis and preoperative assessment of cardiac masses.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Echocardiography
  • Female
  • Heart Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Heart Neoplasms / therapy
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardium / pathology*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed