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August 23, 1958


Author Affiliations


From the Department of Medicine, University of Chicago.

JAMA. 1958;167(17):2076. doi:10.1001/jama.1958.72990340012007a

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Cardiac metastases are not rare. The heart or pericardium is found involved by metastatic tumor in 2 to 20% of patients with malignancy. Carcinoma of the breast, bronchogenic carcinoma, malignant melanoma, and malignant lymphomas are the most common primary tumors involving the heart. Metastatic involvement, however, has been reported from primary malignant lesions of almost any organ. Antemortem diagnosis of metastasis to the heart has been made in very few of these cases. In most instances, as in the present one, an antemortem diagnosis is of academic interest only. The recent advances in cardiac surgery may make surgical treatment possible in selected patients. Because of the frequency of this condition, it should be considered in a differential diagnosis. Unexplained sudden heart failure, arrhythmias, pericardial effusions, friction rubs, cardiac murmurs, and changing electrocardiographic patterns in a patient with a known malignancy should arouse strong suspicion. The clinician should then consider the

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