Left atrial myxoma with cerebral emboli

Neurosurgery. 1985 May;16(5):675-80. doi: 10.1227/00006123-198505000-00018.


Infarction of the central nervous system secondary to embolism from left atrial myxoma is a recognized phenomenon. However, myxoma as the source of an embolus may be overlooked if an index of suspicion is not present during the evaluation of the patient with a stroke without a known cause. We present a case report that illustrates some of the pitfalls and characteristic findings present in the evaluation of these patients. The magnetic resonance image of multiple cerebral aneurysms and infarction associated with this condition is presented along with a unique, arteriographically proven resolution of a fusiform cerebral aneurysm after the removal of the cardiac tumor. A review of published case reports suggests that, if the cardiac tumor is recognized and treated quickly, the ultimate prognosis, while uncertain, is usually good. However, because the potential exists for recurrence of the cardiac tumor, for enlargement of the cerebral lesions, or for late development of cerebral lesions, long term follow-up is mandatory and a vigorous work-up must be pursued if the patient again becomes symptomatic or develops central nervous system manifestations for the first time.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Angiography
  • Cerebral Infarction / etiology
  • Female
  • Heart Atria / surgery
  • Heart Neoplasms / complications*
  • Heart Neoplasms / surgery
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / etiology
  • Intracranial Embolism and Thrombosis / etiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Myxoma / complications*
  • Myxoma / surgery
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed