Cardiac Path Online

List of Primary Cardiac Tumours

Dr Sampurna Roy MD





Primary tumours of the heart (excluding cysts and pericardial tumours) are very rare.

Three quarters of the tumours are benign.

Before 1951, the diagnosis of intracardiac tumours was made only at postmortem examination.

In the same year the diagnosis of an intracavitary left atrial tumour was confirmed by angiocardiography.

The introduction of echocardiography has greatly facilitated the antemortem diagnosis of cardiac tumours.

Supplemental diagnostic imaging methods include computed tomography (CT) and nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Their nature and distribution of cardiac tumours according to age is shown below:


Benign tumours exclusively occur in children (< 16 yrs.) :

1. Rhabdomyoma

2. Purkinje cell tumour

3. Teratoma

Benign tumours exclusively occur in adults :

1. Papillary fibroelastoma

2. Lipomatous hypertrophy of atrial septum

3. Lipoma

4. Paraganglioma

Benign tumours irrespective of age :

1.  Myxoma

2. Hemangioma

3. Mesothelioma of atrioventricular node

4. Fibroma

Malignant tumours exclusively occur in adults :

1. Osteosarcoma

2. Synovial sarcoma

3. Liposarcoma

4. Malignant schwannoma

Malignant tumours of heart observed in all ages :

1. Angiosarcoma

2. Malignant fibrous histiocytoma (MFH)

3. Leiomyosarcoma

4. Fibrosarcoma

5. Myxosarcoma

6. Rhabdomyosarcoma


Visit:: Reporting of Cardiac Tumours 


Further reading:

[ Ref: 1) Tumors of the Heart and Great Vessels. Washington, DC: Armed Forces Institute of Pathology; 1996. Atlas of Tumor Pathology; 3rd series, fascicle 16.

2) Primary cardiac and pericardial neoplasms: radiologic-pathologic correlation.Radiographics. 2000 Jul-Aug;20(4):1073-103; quiz 1110-1, 1112.

3)Primary cardiac tumors. Ann Surg 1980;191:127-138  ]




Dr Sampurna Roy  MD

Consultant  Histopathologist (Kolkata - India)


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