Cardiac Myxoma: Matters of the Heart
- 02 Jun 2022
Cardiac Myxoma: Matters of the heart
Cardiac myxoma is a noncancerous tumor that develops from the heart's connective tissue. It is the most common form of primary heart tumor in adults. They can grow in either of the four chambers of the heart however, most commonly occur in the two upper chambers of the heart, the atria. Myxomas of the left atrium constitute the majority of atrial myxomas (75%). They typically begin at the septum, which divides the left and right halves of the heart. Myxomas can also develop in other parts of the human body, such as in the muscles, adjacent to large joints, conjunctiva.
Is it really cancer?
Myxoma is not a kind of cancer. Tumors are abnormal cell growths that generate a mass in general. The growing tumor is characterized as either malignant tumor (if the tumor cells can spread and invade other tissues, a process known as metastasis) or benign or noncancerous tumors (if tumor is unable to penetrate other tissues). Myxomas are mostly classified as benign tumors however, there are a few reports where it has been found to recur or metastasize as well.
Causes of Cardiac Myxoma
When a cell in a body region multiplies locally and grows abnormally, they form benign tumors that do not invade other tissues. Most myxomas are idiopathic, which means that there isn't always a definite reason for their occurrence. A combination of genetic and environmental risk factors is thought to have a role in the development of a few myxomas. However, it appears that one out of every ten occurrences of atrial myxoma is inherited or handed down via families. Familial myxomas are myxomas that are passed down through the generations.
Cardiac Myxoma: Signs and symptoms
Although symptoms may occur at any time, most often they are related to a change in posture or physical exertion. Here are some of the cardiac myxoma symptoms:
Other Symptoms are:
Symptoms/signs related to embolization (breakage of part/whole of tumor and movement to other site)
How is Myxoma diagnosed?
The location and size of the tumor determine the diagnosis of all myxomas. A physical examination can identify the existence of abnormal heart sounds in people who are having symptoms related to cardiac myxoma. To diagnose myxomas or its complications, the doctor may recommend a few tests, including:
How Is Myxoma removed?
An urgent surgical removal is the most appropriate treatment of cardiac myxoma. Cardiac myxoma is removed by open-heart surgery. Depending on the amount of tumor extension, the atrial septum (wall that divides the left and right upper chambers of the heart) may also be removed. The atrial septum can be repaired using the pericardium, which is a two-layered membrane that surrounds the heart. Individuals with myxoma extending into the mitral valve may need to have the valve replaced. Myxomas can recur in rare cases.
Treatment for associated conditions such as arrhythmia, heart failure, or emboli may require medical/surgical intervention.
Cardiac Myxoma: What you need to know
In case of these signs and symptoms consult your healthcare provider immediately
Choose the right hospital for your treatment
Medanta Hospitals have a world-renowned team of heart specialists who offer comprehensive cardiac care under one roof with compassion. With state-of-the-art surgical treatment, Critical care, research, and laboratory facilities, Medanta experts use advanced technology and sophisticated imaging tests for accurate diagnosis, treatment and post- operative rehabilitation.
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