Clinicopathologic study of 24 patients with primary cardiac sarcomas: a 10-year single institution experience

Chul Hwan Kim, Jane Y. Dancer, Donna Coffey, Qihui J. Zhai, Michael Reardon, Alberto G. Ayala, Jae Y. Ro

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87 Scopus citations


Primary cardiac sarcomas are exceptionally rare. We present a 10-year, single-institution experience with 24 primary adult cardiac sarcomas. These cases were retrieved from the Department of Pathology data file of the Methodist Hospital at Houston, TX. Clinical presentation and pathologic features were analyzed. Histologic classification was followed according to the criteria set by the World Health Organization, and grading according to the system proposed by the Federation Nationale des Centres de Lutte Contrele Cancer. There were 14 men and 10 women (male/female, 1.4:1) with a mean age of 42.2 years (range 20-68 years). The tumors involved the right atrium in 14 cases, left atrium in 6 cases, right ventricle in 2 cases, and left ventricle in 2 cases. The tumor size ranged from 2.0 to 17.0 cm (mean 7.2 cm), and, histologically, there were 10 angiosarcomas, 9 unclassified sarcomas, 3 synovial sarcomas, and 2 leiomyosarcomas. All 10 angiosarcomas originated from the right atrium, whereas 5 of the unclassified sarcomas were from the left atrium. Although cases were limited, no predilection site was found for the other histologic types. All tumors were graded as 2 (5 cases) or 3 (19 cases) in differentiation. The prognosis was poor with a median survival time of 25 months after diagnosis. The grade was not statistically significant on survival (P = .14). In conclusion, angiosarcoma and unclassified sarcomas are the most common sarcomas of the heart accounting for 76%, but rare tumors such as synovial sarcoma and leiomyosarcoma may also occur in this organ. The survival of cardiac sarcomas is poor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)933-938
Number of pages6
JournalHuman Pathology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2008


  • Angiosarcoma
  • Heart
  • Leiomyosarcoma
  • Malignant neoplasm
  • Sarcoma
  • Synovial sarcoma
  • Unclassified sarcoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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