Myxoma chest x ray

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor-In-Chief: Maria Fernanda Villarreal, M.D. [2] Cafer Zorkun, M.D., Ph.D. [3] Ahmad Al Maradni, M.D. [4]


There are no specific chest x-ray findings associated with cardiac myxoma, the results can be reported as normal.

Key Chest X-Ray Findings in Cardiac Myxoma


Imaging Technique Features Description Advantages Limitations
Two- or three-dimensional echocardiography
  • Echocardiography is usually the initial modality used for identification and evaluation of cardiac myxomas.
  • Hyperechogenic lesions with a well-defined stalk.
  • Protrusion into the ventricles is a common finding.
  • Real-time imaging
  • Tumor mobility and distensibility.
  • Limited views of the mediastinum and cannot be used to evaluate extracardiac manifestations of disease.[3]
  • TEE is an invasive imaging technique.
  • TTE is limited by the imaging window, which can vary with the patient and operator experience.
  • Evaluation of cardiac masses and is of greatest value when echocardiographic findings are suboptimal or when the lesion has an atypical location or appearance.
  • Cardiac myxomas appear spherical or ovoid with lobular contours, irregular in shape.
  • T1 : Low to intermediate signal, but areas of hemorrhage may be high.
  • T1 C+ (Gd): shows enhancement (important discriminator from a thrombus) demonstrates uniform heterogeneous enhancement.
  • MRI allows imaging in multiple planes.
  • Provides some functional information such as, flow direction and flow velocity in large vessels.
  • Cannot show calcification.
  • High susceptibility to motion artifact.
  • Dependent on regular electrocardiographic rhythms and cardiac gating.
  • CT can be used to accurately image the heart and surrounding mediastinum.
  • Intracardiac heterogeneously low attenuating mass.
  • The attenuation is usually lower than that of myocardium.
  • Calcification is common
  • CT provides better soft-tissue contrast.
  • There is no real-time true imaging with CT and imaging planes are limited to those allowed by angulation of the gantry.
  • There is no evaluation of small moving structures, such as the cardiac valves.
  • Coronary angiography may be helpful to detect vascular supply of the tumor by the coronary arteries.
  • The angiographic findings of cardiac myxoma demonstrate feeding vessels, contrast medium poolings, and clusters of tortuous vessels that correspond to tumor vasculature
  • Angiography can detect the concomitant coronary disease and the unique vascular appearances of cardiac myxoma.
  • Helpful for surgical evaluation.
  • Invasive imaging technique
Chest x-ray
  • Chest x-ray has no particular findings associated with cardiac myxoma.
  • Results can be normal.
  • Low cost
  • May be helpful, if calcifications present.
  • Does not provide a diagnosis.


  1. Cardiac Myxoma. Radiopedia. Accessed on November 24, 2015
  2. Thyagarajan B, Kumar MP, Patel S, Agrawal A (January 2017). "Extracardiac manifestations of atrial myxomas". J Saudi Heart Assoc. 29 (1): 37–43. doi:10.1016/j.jsha.2016.07.003. PMC 5247297.
  3. Reeder GS, Khandheria BK, Seward JB, Tajik AJ (1991). "Transesophageal echocardiography and cardiac masses". Mayo Clin. Proc. 66 (11): 1101–9. PMID 1943240.

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