myxoma (atrial)

Last reviewed 01/2018

Atrial myxoma is the commonest primary cardiac tumour. It usually arises as a polypoid, gelatinous structure attached by a pedicle to the left atrium. Myxomas may arise less commonly in the right atrium or the ventricles.

General features include dyspnoea, syncope or a mild fever, and weight loss. Auscultation may reveal a mid-diastolic murmur produced by the tumour mass obstructing the valve orifice during ventricular filling.

Investigations show a raised ESR and characteristic echocardiography.

Untreated, the myxoma may result in thrombus formation and subsequent embolism, and permanent mitral valve obstruction.

Surgical removal is completely curative.