Benign Cardiac Neoplasms: the Experience at the Cardiovascular Center of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean

Yolanda Figueroa-Torres, José A. Martínez-Ojeda, Hilton Franqui-Rivera, José Martínez-Toro


Introduction: Neoplasms of the heart are extremely rare and difficult to diagnose. In this study, we intend to describe the experience at the Cardiovascular Center of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean (CCPRC) dealing with benign cardiac neoplasms. Methods: A retrospective review of the archival material at our institution was conducted using the 2007 ICD-9-CM code 212.7. A total of 77 cases with a diagnosis of Benign Heart Neoplasm were found from 1992 to 2008 but only those with an official pathologic report (n = 43) were considered. The clinical charts provided data related to age, sex, presenting symptoms, non-invasive and invasive characteristics, surgical procedures, and pathological findings. Data was compared using paired and unpaired Student’s t-test, x2, and Fisher’s Exact Test when appropriate. For interpretation of results, a p-value < 0.05 was considered significant. Results: The mean age for diagnosis was 51.49 years. The most common presenting symptom by which these patients sought medical attention was congestive heart failure (35%), followed by chest pain (18%) and neurologic symptoms (14%). The most common location of the mass was the left atrium (81%) and overall, the most common heart neoplasm in this study was myxoma (83.7%). The rate of surgical complications was 30% (n = 13), with the cross clamp time and bypass time found to be the only factors influencing length of stay. Mortality rate was 7% (n = 3). Conclusions: This study of a total of 43 pathologically confirmed benign cardiac neoplasms admitted to the Cardiovascular Center of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean from 1992 to 2008 validates the fact that heart neoplasms represent a fairly rare diagnosis. It is also consistent with previously published series that establish myxoma as the most common of these benign neoplasms. The main clinical findings as well as the results of surgery were presented.


Cardiac myxoma; Benign heart neoplasm; Surgical complications

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