A brief description of cardiac myxomas and the anesthetic implications for anestesia providers. Some of the formatting of this paper has been lost....the superscripts for references lost their format.

Essay by karibeth23University, Master's November 2003

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Cardiac myxomas are rare, benign, slow growing primary cardiac tumors found most commonly in the septum of the left atrium, although they can occur in any chamber of the heart.1,2,3,4 Myxomas account for about 50% of all benign intercardiac tumors making them the most common.14,15,16,17,18 Approximately 70-85% of myxomas occur in the left atrium and the remainder in the right atrium.1,2,5,7,9,10,11,12,13,14,16,17 Very rarely one will occur in either ventricle.1,2,9,12,13,14,16 A very small percentage (10% or less) of myxomas are considered hereditary.1,6,7,9,10,17 Hereditary myxomas typically occur in men in their 20's.1,6 Non-hereditary myxomas most often occur in women between the ages of 30 and 60.6,10,15 Myxomas can appear white, gray, yellow, brown, or green and can range from 1 cm to 15 cm in size13,16 with the average size being 5-6 cm.13 The tumor itself can either be gelatinous with a lobular surface, or more like a firm round mass.7,32

The tumor is quite vascular and may be coated with thrombi.15 About 30-50% of patients experience embolization to the brain, kidneys, eyes, or extremities.4,7,17 The left atrial myxomas often arise from the upper portion of the septum and may prolapse through the mitral valve during diastole.2,7 Although most myxomas are attached to the septum, they may also be attached to the walls of the heart chamber or the valves.14,17 The tumors develop from the endocardium,13 are attached to the wall by a short broad-based attachment called a "stalk", and swing freely within the cardiac chamber.6,12 The freely moving tumor may then intermittently block the mitral valve obstructing blood flow (this mimics mitral stenosis).6,10 When the patients stands up, gravity can also pull the myxoma into the opening of the mitral valve blocking blood flow into the ventricle.6 Mitral regurgitation may occur if the tumor prolapses through the valve and prevents...