The most common tumors of the heart in all age groups are myxomas. The majority of myxomas are solitary tumors that occur in the atrium, or upper chamber, of the heart. These tumors often are suspended from a stalk and range from 4-8 cm in size. Some cases of these types of tumors are familial. When this is the case, they tumors tend to arise in younger people and are often in multiple locations. The tumors can affect the function of the cardiac valves or present an obstruction to blood flow.
Causes of Atrial Myxoma
These are probably benign tumors. There is some suggestion that they arise from by a blood clot that organizes and becomes fibrous in the wall of the heart.
Signs and Symptoms of Atrial Myxoma
The symptoms that develop from these tumors depends of the location of the mass. Since the tumors are frequently suspended from a long peduncle, they may move. There may be emboli to the skin and other organs. There may be pulmonary emboli with shortness of breath, chest pain and cough. Fever, weight loss, joint pain, rash may occur. Exercise intolerance or pain with exertion may occur from obstruction of blood flow.
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Medical Content Last Updated on 07/12/2008
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