Cardiac Myxomas: A 50-Year Experience With Resection and Analysis of Risk Factors for Recurrence

Ishan K. Shah, Joseph A. Dearani, Richard C. Daly, Rakesh M. Suri, Soon J Park, Lyle D. Joyce, Zhuo Li, Hartzell V. Schaff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Background. Myxomas are the most common cardiac tumors, but there are insufficient data regarding long-term survival and recurrence rates. Our objective was to examine late results and attempt to determine a strategy for recurrence monitoring, as there are no recommended guidelines at present. Methods. We performed a retrospective analysis of 194 patients (mean age 57.2 ± 15.6 years; 62.4% female) undergoing resection of cardiac myxoma from June 1955 to June 2011. The left atrium (n = 155, 80%) was the most common location, and the mean tumor size was 4.3 ± 2.1 cm by 3.2 ± 1.6 cm by 2.1 ± 1.3 cm. Dyspnea (n = 68) and palpitations (n = 57) were the most common complaints, and 28 patients (14.4%) were asymptomatic. Results. The tumor was exposed through the respective atria in the majority of patients (n = 187). Bypass and cross-clamp times were 59.1 ± 33.4 minutes and 35.2 ± 21.7 minutes, respectively. Two thirds of the tumors were excised with an endocardial button, and the rest were resected at the base of the stalk. Operative mortality was 0.5%. Ten, 20 and 30-year survival was 77%, 52% and 34%, respectively, which was comparable to an age-matched general population (p = 0.191). Older age at operation was the only significant predictor of subsequent mortality (p < 0.001). There was no significant difference in survival when patients were stratified by sex (p = 0.784), location of tumor (p = 0.087), the largest tumor dimension (p = 0.257) or surgical technique (endocardial button versus base of the stalk, p = 0.502). Tumors recurred in 11 patients; freedom from tumor recurrence was 92%, 91%, and 86% at 10, 20, and 30 years, respectively. Younger age at surgery (hazard ratio 0.94, p = 0.002), smaller tumor dimension (hazard ratio 0.58, p = 0.011), and tumor localized to the ventricles (hazard ratio 7.29, p = 0.013) were predictors of recurrence. Conclusions. Cardiac myxomas can be resected with low early mortality and excellent late survival. Tumor recurrence is more likely to occur in the first 10 postoperative years, especially in younger patients, patients with a smaller tumor mass, or tumor location in the ventricle. Patients with these findings require closer imaging surveillance in the first decade after resection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)495-500
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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