Myxoma history and symptoms

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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] Cafer Zorkun, M.D., Ph.D. [4] Ahmad Al Maradni, M.D. [5]


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.


Common Symptoms

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.[3]

Clinical features can be categorized as:[4][5][6]

Valvular obstruction

Embolic event

  • Distribution will depend on location of tumor
  • Most are left sided, and therefore most are systemic (brain or extremities)

Constitutional symptoms

Less Common Symptoms

Less common symptoms may include:[7][8]


  1. Tazelaar HD, Locke TJ, McGregor CG (1992). "Pathology of surgically excised primary cardiac tumors". Mayo Clin. Proc. 67 (10): 957–65. PMID 1434856.
  2. Vaideeswar P, Butany JW (2008). "Benign cardiac tumors of the pluripotent mesenchyme". Semin Diagn Pathol. 25 (1): 20–8. PMID 18350919.
  3. Ramchandani M (2010). "Less invasive surgery for cardiac tumors". Methodist Debakey Cardiovasc J. 6 (3): 27–31. PMID 20834208.
  4. Thyagarajan, Braghadheeswar; Kumar, Monisha Priyadarshini; Patel, Shil; Agrawal, Abhinav (2017). "Extracardiac manifestations of atrial myxomas". Journal of the Saudi Heart Association. 29 (1): 37–43. doi:10.1016/j.jsha.2016.07.003. ISSN 1016-7315.
  5. Tetsuka, Syuichi; Ikeguchi, Kunihiko (2015). "Prevention of Cerebral Embolism Progression by Emergency Surgery of the Left Atrial Myxoma". Case Reports in Medicine. 2015: 1–4. doi:10.1155/2015/151802. ISSN 1687-9627.
  6. Grebenc, Mary L.; Rosado de Christenson, Melissa L.; Burke, Allen P.; Green, Curtis E.; Galvin, Jeffrey R. (2000). "Primary Cardiac and Pericardial Neoplasms: Radiologic-Pathologic Correlation". RadioGraphics. 20 (4): 1073–1103. doi:10.1148/radiographics.20.4.g00jl081073. ISSN 0271-5333.
  7. Leonard S, Ryan J (March 2010). "A heavy heart; A massive right atrial myxoma causing fatigue and shortness of breath". Ir Med J. 103 (3): 83–4. PMID 20666072.
  8. Fakhari S, Bilehjani E (2016). "A Large Left Ventricle Myxoma: Presenting with Epigastric Pain and Weight Loss". Case Rep Cardiol. 2016: 9018249. doi:10.1155/2016/9018249. PMC 5206423. PMID 28090362.

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