Cardiac tumors are exceedingly rare (0.001-0.03% in most autopsy series). They can be present anywhere within the heart and can be attached to any surface or be embedded in the myocardium or pericardial space. Signs and symptoms are nonspecific and highly variable related to the localization, size and composition of the cardiac mass. echocardiography, typically performed for another indication, may be the first imaging modality alerting the clinician to the presence of a cardiac mass. Although echocardiography cannot give the histopathology, certain imaging features and adjunctive tools such as contrast imaging may aid in the differential diagnosis as do the adjunctive clinical data and the following principles: (1) thrombus or vegetations are the most likely etiology, (2) cardiac tumors are mostly secondary and (3) primary cardiac tumors are mostly benign. Although the finding of a cardiac mass on echocardiography may generate confusion, a stepwise approach may serve well practically. Herein, we will review such an approach and the role of echocardiography in the assessment of cardiac masses.
- Atrial mass
- Ventricular mass
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Advanced and Specialized Nursing