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March 1972

Left Atrial Myxoma: Diagnosis With the Help of the Phonocardiogram and Apexcardiogram

Author Affiliations

Chapel Hill, NC

From the C. V. Richardson Laboratory and the Department of Medicine, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill.

Arch Intern Med. 1972;129(3):470-474. doi:10.1001/archinte.1972.00320030090010

The presence of a left atrial (LA) myxoma may be suspected where there are symptoms and signs consistent with mitral valve disease of a relentlessly progressive nature, often accompanied by syncope or embolization.1 Alterations in symptomatology and physical signs, with changes in posture and constitutional manifestations suggestive of a chronic inflammatory process are also frequently found. Nevertheless, the diagnosis of LA myxoma continues to be made too often for the first time at surgery for suspected mitral stenosis, or at autopsy.

Recently, clues to the diagnosis of LA myxoma by phonocardiography and apexcardiography have been described.2-7 These may facilitate the early diagnosis of this surgically curable condition. This report deals with a patient in whom the diagnosis was suspected from characteristic findings in the records of heart sounds and precordial movement. Detailed simultaneous pressure recordings in the left atrium and ventricle at cardiac catheterization permitted an analysis of

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