Cardiac tumors represent an unusual clinical problem in that they are often discovered as an incidental finding during a routine echocardiogram or in the course of a work-up for a source of embolism. Malignant tumors of the heart are either defined as primary or metastatic from an extra-cardiac primary source—regardless, the prognosis is poor. However, there are several cardiac tumors that are characterized as being non-malignant with regard to their tumor biology, but their tendencies to cause embolic or obstructive complications can be just as catastrophic despite a lack of invasiveness or potential to metastasize. The purpose of this chapter is to review the common types of non-malignant cardiac tumors with regard to their incidence, presentation, potential for complications, and management—with emphasis on surgical indications and techniques.
Part of the book: Embolic Disease