Cardiac Tumors: Clinical Presentation, Diagnosis, and Management

Curr Treat Options Oncol. 2019 Jun 27;20(8):66. doi: 10.1007/s11864-019-0662-1.


Cardiac masses and tumors are a heterogenous group of disorders and include primary tumors (both benign and malignant), metastatic disease, and numerous masquerades such as thrombus. Clinical presentation ranges from incidental discovery on imaging tests ordered for other reasons to life-threatening presentations such as cardiac tamponade, arrhythmia, obstruction, and systemic embolization. Of the available imaging modalities, cardiac MRI is generally the most useful for assessment and helps to delineate the relevant anatomy. Due to the technical difficulties and risk of biopsy of cardiac masses, a presumptive diagnosis is typically made using imaging techniques with surgery serving both a diagnostic and curative role. Because these conditions can vary widely in their management, we recommend early involvement of a multidisciplinary group which should include a cardiologist, cardiac surgeon, and oncologist.

Keywords: Cardiac mass; Cardiac tumor; Myxoma; Rhabdomyoma; Rhabdomyosarcoma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Disease Management
  • Heart Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Heart Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Heart Neoplasms / etiology
  • Heart Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Neoplasm Grading
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Symptom Assessment
  • Treatment Outcome