November 1971

Detection of a Left Atrial Myxoma by Echocardiography

Author Affiliations

Durham, NC

From the Cardiovascular Division, Department of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC.

Arch Intern Med. 1971;128(5):787-789. doi:10.1001/archinte.1971.00310230117012

Left atrial myxoma is a rare entity with protean manifestations.1 In the past, diagnosis has proved difficult partly because of the necessarily elaborate techniques required to establish the presence of the tumor.2,3 Recently, cardiac echograms have proven successful in the preoperative diagnosis of both right and left atrial myxomas.4-8 We have recently encountered a dramatic example of the successful preoperative diagnosis of a myxoma which emphasizes the value of ultrasound in the detection of these tumors.

Patient Summary  The patient (JO 3777) was a 35-year-old housewife referred for evaluation of pulmonary infiltrates. She was well until late April 1970 when she developed persistent cough, dyspnea on exertion, and a lowgrade fever. A brief hospitalization and treatment with several antibiotics produced some subjective improvement. During the next 21/2 months the patient had frequent, but mild, afternoon temperature elevations and mild dyspnea. In late July 1970 the patient experienced a

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