February 1963

Myxoma of the Right Atrium with Polycythemia

Author Affiliations


Junior Attending in Medicine, Methodist Hospital (Dr. Siggillino); Senior Attending in Medicine, Methodist Hospital (Dr. Crawley); Associate Professor of Surgery, New York University (Dr. Clauss); Assistant Professor of Surgery, New York University (Dr. Reed); Instructor in Surgery, New York University (Dr. Tice).; Department of Surgery, New York University Medical Center; Departments of Medicine and Surgery, Methodist Hospital of Brooklyn.

Arch Intern Med. 1963;111(2):178-183. doi:10.1001/archinte.1963.03620260038007

Primary neoplasms of the heart are rare and have been observed by Straus and Merliss in only 0.0017% of 480,000 autopsies. Myxoma is the most frequent primary tumor of the heart and accounts for approximately 50% of the reported cases.1,2 In 1953 Steinberg reviewed 204 cases of cardiac myxoma, 25% occurring in the right atrium. Myxoma of the left atrium is 3 times more frequent than that of the right atrium. A less frequent site is the left ventricle. Many of the cases reported presented with symptoms of mitral or tricuspid stenosis.

Myxoma is a benign tumor, often pedunculated, which usually arises from the atrial septum in the region of the fossa ovalis. The majority occur in persons in the sixth decade of life.

The prevailing opinion concerning cardiac myxoma is that it represents either a true neoplastic growth or is the result of an organized blood clot of

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