Myxoma history and symptoms
Myxoma history and symptoms On the Web
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There are no hallmark findings in cardiac myxoma. However, clinical features of cardiac myxoma are determined by tumor location, size and mobility. Symptoms may occur at any time, but most often they tend to occur with changes in body position. A positive history of systemic embolism and heart failure may be suggestive of cardiac myxoma. The most common symptoms of cardiac myxoma include chest pain, syncope, and dyspnea on exertion. About 20% of cardiac myxomas are asymptomatic at the time of diagnosis.
- Obtaining the history is an important aspect of making a diagnosis of cardiac myxoma. Complete history will help to rule out, familial or multiple myxoma forms and also provide correct therapy. Cardiac myxoma patients usually have an acute onset with complications, such as stroke.
- Therefore, the patient interview may result difficult. In such cases, history from the caregivers or the family members may need to be obtained. Specific histories about the symptoms (duration, onset, progression) or associated symptoms may be useful.
- Specific areas of focus when obtaining the history, are outlined below:
Symptoms associated with cardiac myxomas are typically due to the effect of the mass of the tumor obstructing the normal blood flow within the heart chambers. Left atrial myxoma symptoms may mimic mitral stenosis, while right atrial myxomas rarely produce symptoms until they have grown to be at least 13 cm wide. General symptoms may also mimic those of infective endocarditis.
- Distribution will depend on location of tumor
- Most are left sided, and therefore most are systemic (brain or extremities)
Less Common Symptoms
- Shortness of breath with activity
- Platypnea - difficulty breathing in the upright position with relief in the supine position
- Paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea - breathing difficulty when asleep
- Palpitations - sensation of feeling your heart beat
- Chest pain or tightness
- Sudden Death (in which case the disease is an autopsy finding)
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