Clinical Impact of Cardiac Fibromas

Am J Cardiol. 2022 Nov 1:182:95-103. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2022.06.062. Epub 2022 Aug 30.


Cardiac fibromas are rare primary tumors that can cause significant morbidity and mortality. There has not been a large clinical case review since 1994. This study provides an updated analysis of clinical impact, thereby enhancing understanding, increasing awareness, and revealing important factors in the diagnosis and management of cardiac fibromas. A retrospective case series was conducted at a tertiary care institution by reviewing radiology, surgical and pathology archives (1964 to 2020). Cases were included if cardiac fibroma was diagnosed through imaging or pathology. Demographics, symptomatology, electrophysiologic data, radiographic findings, pathology, interventions, and outcomes were examined. A total of 26 patients with cardiac fibromas were identified, including 12 women. The median age was 20.5 years (0 days to 72 years). Symptoms included palpitations (commonly due to ventricular tachycardia, 31%), syncope (15%), angina (15%), heart failure (12%), emboli (4%), and murmur (27%). One patient had Gorlin syndrome. A total of 22 patients were diagnosed through imaging, 15 of whom were biopsy-confirmed. A total of 9 patients were initially observed. A total of 2 eventually had surgery, 1 was lost to follow-up, 3 were asymptomatic, 1 had heart failure and atrial fibrillation, and 1 had atrial fibrillation and tachy-brady syndrome, requiring ablation and pacemaker placement. A total of 19 underwent resection. A total of 4 required complex operations, 1 required a second resection, and 1 operative death occurred. In conclusion, cardiac fibromas primarily affect the pediatric population; however, this study demonstrates a significant prevalence in adults. Ventricular tachycardia is common, and multimodality imaging is diagnostically sensitive. Resection is largely successful in symptomatic patients. Surveillance may be appropriate for asymptomatic patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Atrial Fibrillation* / complications
  • Child
  • Female
  • Fibroma* / complications
  • Fibroma* / diagnosis
  • Fibroma* / surgery
  • Heart Failure* / complications
  • Heart Neoplasms* / complications
  • Heart Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Heart Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Humans
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular* / diagnosis
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular* / epidemiology
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular* / etiology
  • Young Adult