Coard, K. C.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Primary tumors of the heart: experience at the University Hospital of the West Indies
Date of Publication
BACKGROUND: An analysis of primary cardiac tumors in the English-speaking Caribbean has never been previously conducted. This paper is an attempt to fill this void. METHODS: A retrospective review of autopsy and surgical pathology records of the Department of Pathology at the University Hospital of the West Indies was carried out in search of all primary cardiac tumors. RESULTS: Altogether, 15 patients with primary cardiac tumors were identified. Twelve patients had myxomas, 2 of which were newborn infants. There were 2 cases of fibroma and 1 of rhabdomyoma, also in children. No malignant tumors were identified. Of the 10 adult patients all of whom had myxoma, there were 5 men and 5 women whose ages ranged from 33 to 83 years with a mean of 52 years. Echocardiography was used in making the diagnosis of cardiac tumor in all but one of these cases. All adult patients were symptomatic, with shortness of breath, often accompanied by congestive cardiac failure, being the most common symptom. One patient presented with embolic phenomena. CONCLUSION: This analysis of the clinicopathologic features of primary cardiac neoplasms represents the first of its kind in the English-speaking Caribbean. While the total number of cases was small, there appears to be a disproportionate number of pediatric tumors representing a third of the total. Furthermore, the distribution of tumor types within the pediatric population was dissimilar to that usually seen with only one rhabdomyoma.....