Myxoma classification

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Sogand Goudarzi, MD [2] Maria Fernanda Villarreal, M.D. [3]


Cardiac myxomas are classified by the World Health Organization (WHO) histological classification of tumors of the heart, as "Benign tumors and tumor-like lesions" and categorized into a type of pluripotent mesenchymal tumor.


  • Based on the location and biological behavior of symptoms, cardiac myxomas may be classified into two groups: typical and atypical.[1]
  • Typical:
    • In typical cases, cardiac myxomas are almost always single, and there is a striking predilection for the left atrium, with approximately 75-86% occurring there.[2][3][4]
  • atypical.
    • In atypical cases, presentation is usually early and multicentricity is more common. They are more frequently located on the right side of the heart (38%), or in the left ventricle (5%). There is also recurrence after surgical excision (12%–22%) and an association with other conditions, such as the Carney complex.[2]
  • Cardiac myxomas are anatomically distributed, as following:[2]
  • There is no established histological differentiation between both type of cardiac myxomas (typical and atypical).[5]


  1. Nina, Vinícius JS; Silva, Nathalia AC; Gaspar, Shirlyne FD; Rapôso, Thaísa L; Ferreira, Eduardo C; Nina, Rachel VAH; Lages, Joyce S; Silva, Fernando ACC; Filho, Natalino Salgado (2012). "Atypical size and location of a right atrial myxoma: a case report". Journal of Medical Case Reports. 6 (1). doi:10.1186/1752-1947-6-26. ISSN 1752-1947.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Grebenc ML, Rosado de Christenson ML, Burke AP, Green CE, Galvin JR (2000). "Primary cardiac and pericardial neoplasms: radiologic-pathologic correlation". Radiographics. 20 (4): 1073–103, quiz 1110–1, 1112. doi:10.1148/radiographics.20.4.g00jl081073. PMID 10903697.
  3. Amano J, Nakayama J, Yoshimura Y, Ikeda U (2013). "Clinical classification of cardiovascular tumors and tumor-like lesions, and its incidences". Gen Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 61 (8): 435–47. doi:10.1007/s11748-013-0214-8. PMC 3732772. PMID 23460447.
  4. Wold LE, Lie JT (1980). "Cardiac myxomas: a clinicopathologic profile". Am. J. Pathol. 101 (1): 219–40. PMC 1903582. PMID 7446701.
  5. McCarthy PM, Piehler JM, Schaff HV, Pluth JR, Orszulak TA, Vidaillet HJ, Carney JA (1986). "The significance of multiple, recurrent, and "complex" cardiac myxomas". J. Thorac. Cardiovasc. Surg. 91 (3): 389–96. PMID 3951243.