Home About us Editorial board Search Ahead of print Current issue Archives Submit article Instructions Subscribe Contacts Login 

 Table of Contents  
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 125-127

Large left atrial myxoma causing mitral valve obstruction: A rare cause of syncope

1 Department of Internal Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2 Department of Cardiology, Tehran Heart Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
3 Young Researchers Club, Islamic Azad University, Babol Branch, Babol, Iran

Date of Web Publication17-Dec-2014

Correspondence Address:
Mahdi Montazeri
Tehran Heart Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Northern Kargar Avenue, Tehran
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2211-4122.147208

Rights and Permissions

Cardiac myxoma is the most frequent benign tumors of heart. A 37-year-old woman dropped during the second prostration in prayer and decreased his mental state, with no prior history of syncope. On cardiac examination, there was an early diastolic sound that was compatible with a tumor plop. A transthoracic echocardiogram was performed which showed the presence of a pediculated mass in the left atrium, with an appearance suggestive of atrial myxoma. Atrial Myxoma can appear with non-specific symptoms. The best diagnostic method for myxoma is echocardiography that has a high sensitivity

Keywords: Echocardiography, left atrial myxoma, syncope

How to cite this article:
Rashidi N, Montazeri M, Montazeri M. Large left atrial myxoma causing mitral valve obstruction: A rare cause of syncope. J Cardiovasc Echography 2014;24:125-7

How to cite this URL:
Rashidi N, Montazeri M, Montazeri M. Large left atrial myxoma causing mitral valve obstruction: A rare cause of syncope. J Cardiovasc Echography [serial online] 2014 [cited 2023 Mar 27];24:125-7. Available from: https://www.jcecho.org/text.asp?2014/24/4/125/147208

  Introduction Top

Myxoma is the most common benign cardiac primary tumors, accounting about 50% of cardiac tumors and is more prevalent among females. [1] Because of different size of myxomas and their location in the different chambers of heart, patients with atrial myxoma usually present with cardiovascular symptoms such as heart failure and pulmonary hypertension, secondary to mitral valve obstruction. Constitutional symptoms of atrial myxoma include weight loss, fatigue, fever, clubbing, anemia, orthopnea, and acute pulmonary edema. [2] On the other hand, myxomas may cause life-threatening cardiac symptoms, e.g., syncope, requiring emergency surgery. [3] Two-dimensional echocardiography is the primary diagnostic imaging, not only as a complement to conventional echocardiography in the assessment of left atrial myxomas but also as a method of differentiating such masses from extra-cardiac tumors compressing the atrium. Echocardiography is a helpful method that can determine the tumor size, shape, and mobility. [2] Here, we report a case of left atrial myxoma presented with syncope.

  Case report Top

A 37-year-old woman was referred to our emergency department of our hospital. She dropped during the second prostration in prayer and decreased her mental state, with no prior history of syncope, shortness of breath, or chest pain. She had no significant past medical history, but she had a positive family history of early cardiovascular disease. At presentation, the patient was afebrile and had normal vital signs (heart rate 80 bpm, blood pressure 110/70 mmHg, oxygen saturation 97% while breathing room air) and jugular venous pressure (JVP) was normal.

A 12-lead electrocardiogram revealed normal sinus rhythm with nonspecific minor ST-T abnormalities. On cardiac examination, S1 was accentuated and S2 was normal. There was an early diastolic sound that was compatible with a tumor plop.

A transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE) was performed which showed the presence of a pediculated mass in the left atrium, with an appearance suggestive of atrial myxoma, that was prolapsed through the mitral valve towards the left ventricle by changing patient's position [Figure 1] a-c.
Figure 1: (a-c) Transthoracic echocardiography: Chambers view showing a large mobile left atrial mass prolapsing through mitral valve

Click here to view

The patient was referred for urgent surgery. The intraoperative findings included a mass, and histopathology confirmed an atrial myxoma. She recovered without major complication and was discharged. At 2-year follow-up, she remains with excellent cardiac function.

  Discussion Top

Myxoma is the most common primary benign cardiac tumor. Despite the fact that they can be discovered unexpectedly in asymptomatic patients, myxomas usually present with nonspecific signs and symptoms. [4] Depending on myxomas locations and their association with the heart structures, they can provide symptoms. Tumors that origins from the left atrium, especially if mobile and large, may result in symptoms similar to mitral stenosis due to obstruction of atrio-ventricular blood flow. These symptoms include: Exertional dyspnea, paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea, orthopnea, fatigue, and syncope. In our patient, the cardiac auscultation may also mimic mitral valve stenosis. The tumor plop of myxoma is a protodiastolic murmur that is heard 80 to 150 ms after S2. Tumor plop may be mistaken for an opening snap, and tumor obstruction of the valve leads to a diastolic murmur. [5] The central nervous system (CNS) symptoms usually call for computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of the brain to exclude embolization or an aneurysm formation, which is sometimes associated with myxomas. It has been suggested as prudent to perform MRI scan of the brain in all cardiac myxoma cases to exclude central nervous system (CNS) manifestations. [6]

In our patient, transthoracic echocardiography reported a mobile and pedunculated mass in the left atrium, which was attached to the interatrial septum. The mass prolapsed into the left ventricle across the mitral valve, resulting in a mitral valve obstruction. Recently, the diagnosis of cardiac tumors has improved enormously, and echocardiography has become a choice screening tool for cardiac tumors. [7] Myxoma often has heterogeneous echogenicity occasional calcifications. The location of the myxoma in the left atrium and its origination from the atrial septum are chief clues for the diagnosis. These clues enable cardiologists to differentiate myxoma from other cardiac masses. [8] Thus, it is very important to recognize the location of the tumor during echocardiography. [9] As reported in other studies, echocardiography is also valuable for the detection of atypical left atrial tumors. TTE is usually sufficient to make the diagnosis, but if the results are suboptimal, transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) should be employed. [9]

In conclusion, echocardiography is likely to be a valuable diagnostic tool in patients who have had a cardiac mass. Besides, it also offers the cardiologist and cardiovascular surgeon the chance of more accurate pre- and intra-operative assessment of cardiac masses.

  References Top

Tasoglu I, Tutun U, Lafci G, Hijaazi A, Yener U, Yalcinkaya A, et al. Primary cardiac myxomas: Clinical experience and surgical results in 67 patients. J Card Surg 2009;24:256-9.  Back to cited text no. 1
Kuroczynski W, Peivandi AA, Ewald P, Pruefer D, Heinemann M, Vahl CF. Cardiac myxomas: Short- and long-term follow-up. Cardiol J 2009;16:447-54.  Back to cited text no. 2
Panagiotou M, Panagopoulos ND, Ravazoula P, Kaklamanis L, Koletsis EN. Large asymptomatic left atrial myxoma with ossification: Case report. J Cardiothorac Surg 2008;3:19.  Back to cited text no. 3
Reynen K. Cardiac myxomas. N Engl J Med 1995;333:1610-7.  Back to cited text no. 4
Buksa M, Gerc V, Dilic M, Loza V, Naser N, Sokolovic S, et al. Clinical, echocardiographic and echophonocardiographic characteristics of the atrial myxomas in 22 years period. Med Arh 2009;63:320-2.  Back to cited text no. 5
Baikoussis NG, Siminelakis SN, Kotsanti A, Achenbach K, Argyropoulou M, Goudevenos J. Multiple cerebral mycotic aneurysms due to left atrial myxoma: Are there any pitfalls for the cardiac surgeon? Hellenic J Cardiol 2011;52:466-8.  Back to cited text no. 6
Meng Q, Lai H, Lima J, Tong W, Qian Y, Lai S. Echocardiographic and pathologic characteristics of primary cardiac tumors: A study of 149 cases. Int J Cardiol 2002;84:69-75.  Back to cited text no. 7
Colucci WS, Schoen FJ. Primary Tumors of the Heart. In: Braunwald E, Zipes D, Libby P, (eds). Heart Disease, A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 6 th ed., Vo l2, Philadelphia, WB Saunders Co, 2001. pp. 1809-22.  Back to cited text no. 8
Feigenbaum H, Armstrong WF, Ryan T. Masses, Tumors and source of embolus. In: Feigenbaum H, Armstrong WF, Ryan T, (eds). Feigenbaum's Echocardiography. 6 th ed. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. Philadelphia, 2005. pp. 701-34.  Back to cited text no. 9


  [Figure 1]

This article has been cited by
1 A Middle-aged Man With Sharp Chest Pain
Mahender K. Gaba,Prakriti Gaba,John M. Luber
JAMA Cardiology. 2021;
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
2 Giant right ventricular myxoma presenting as right heart failure with systemic congestion: a rare case report
Chen Lu,Peng Yang,Jia Hu
BMC Surgery. 2021; 21(1)
[Pubmed] | [DOI]


Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
Access Statistics
Email Alert *
Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)

  In this article
Case report
Article Figures

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded195    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 2    

Recommend this journal