Minimally Invasive Extirpation of Benign Atrial Cardiac Tumors: Clinical Follow-Up and Survival

Innovations (Phila). 2023 May-Jun;18(3):232-239. doi: 10.1177/15569845231170000. Epub 2023 May 5.


Objective: Evidence determining the optimal treatment for cardiac tumors is rare. We report our midterm clinical outcome and patient characteristics of our series undergoing atrial tumor removal through a right lateral minithoracotomy (RLMT).

Methods: From 2015 to 2021, 51 patients underwent RLMT for atrial tumor extirpation. Patients receiving concomitant atrioventricular valvular, cryoablation, and/or patent foramen ovale closure surgery were included. Follow-up was performed using standardized questionnaires (mean: 1,041 ± 666 days). Follow-up involved any tumor recurrence, clinical symptoms, and any recurrent arterial embolization. Survival analysis was successfully achieved in all patients.

Results: Successful surgical resection was achieved in all patients. Mean cardiopulmonary bypass and cross-clamping times were 75 ± 36 and 41 ± 22 min, respectively. The most common tumor location was the left atrium (n = 42, 82.4%). Mean ventilation time was 12.74 ± 17.23 h, intensive care unit stay ranged from 1 to 1.9 days (median: 1 day). Nineteen patients (37.3%) received concomitant surgery. Histopathological analysis showed 38 myxoma (74.5%), 9 papillary fibroelastoma (17.6%), and 4 thrombus (7.8%). Thirty-day mortality was observed in 1 case (2%). One patient (2%) suffered a stroke postoperatively. No patient had a relapse of cardiac tumor. Three patients (9.7%) showed arterial embolization during follow-up. Thirteen follow-up patients (25.5%) were in New York Heart Association class ≤II. Overall survival was 90.2% at 2 years.

Conclusions: A minimally invasive approach for benign atrial tumor resection is effective, safe, and reproducible. Of the atrial tumors, 74.5% were myxoma and 82% were located in the left atrium. A low 30-day mortality rate with no manifestation of recurrent intracardiac tumor was observed.

Keywords: cardiac tumor; endoscopic cardiac surgery; minimally invasive; myxoma; papillary fibroelastoma.

MeSH terms

  • Atrial Fibrillation*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heart Atria / pathology
  • Heart Atria / surgery
  • Heart Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Humans
  • Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures
  • Myxoma* / surgery
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / epidemiology
  • Treatment Outcome