Cardiac tumors are rare, with an estimated prevalence of 0.02% to 0.28%. They can be primary (originating in the heart) or secondary (metastatic tumors from other sites).
Primary cardiac tumors are the tumors that originate in the heart. In adults, myxomas are the most common primary cardiac tumors, whereas in children, rhabdomyomas are the most prevalent.
Secondary tumors, which are the most common cardiac tumors, originate in another part of the body. These are often metastases from other tumors that settle in the heart. Most common origins include melanoma, breast cancer, and the lung cancer.
Myxomas are the most commonly occurring primary heart tumor in adults. Tumor has a gelatinous consistency and is typically found in the left atrium, although right atrium can also be involved.
Rhabdomyomas primarily occur in children, with the most common location being the ventricles. An important association with this tumor is tuberous sclerosis.
Cardiac tumors often present with non-specific symptoms, such as dyspnea, chest pain, palpitations, arrhythmias, or systemic embolization. The specific symptoms depend on the tumor's location, size, and effects on cardiac function.
Echocardiography is the primary imaging modality for detecting and evaluating cardiac tumors. Other imaging techniques, such as CT scan and MRI can provide additional information about the location, extent, and involvement of surrounding structures.
The management of cardiac tumors requires a multidisciplinary approach involving cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, oncologists, radiologists, and pathologists to determine the best treatment strategy for each individual case.
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