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.
Last reviewed 01/2018