Two dimensional echocardiographic detection of intraatrial masses

Am J Cardiol. 1981 Nov;48(5):954-60. doi: 10.1016/0002-9149(81)90364-7.


With two dimensional echocardiography, a left atrial mass was detected in 19 patients. Of these, 10 patients with rheumatic mitral stenosis had a left atrial thrombus. The distinctive two dimensional echocardiographic features of left atrial thrombus included a mass of irregular nonmobile laminated echos within an enlarged atrial cavity, usually with a broad base of attachment to the posterior left atrial wall. Seven patients had a left atrial myxoma. Usually, the myxoma appeared as a mottled ovoid, sharply demarcated mobile mass attached to the interatrial septum. One patient had a right atrial angiosarcoma that appeared as a nonmobile mass extending from the inferior vena caval-right atrial junction into the right atrial cavity. One patient had a left atrial leiomyosarcoma producing a highly mobile mass attached to the lateral wall of the left atrium. M mode echocardiography detected six of the seven myxomas, one thrombus and neither of the other tumors. Thus, two dimensional echocardiography appears to be the technique of choice in the detection, localization and differentiation of intraatrial masses.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Echocardiography*
  • Female
  • Heart Atria
  • Heart Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Heart Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Hemangiosarcoma / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Leiomyosarcoma / diagnosis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mitral Valve Stenosis / complications
  • Myxoma / diagnosis*
  • Thrombosis / diagnosis*