Surgery for Tumors of the Heart

Bobby Yanagawa, Amine Mazine, Edward Y. Chan, Colin M. Barker, Michael Gritti, Ross M. Reul, Vinod Ravi, Sergio Ibarra, Oz M. Shapira, Robert J. Cusimano, Michael J. Reardon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Most surgeons will encounter only a handful of primary cardiac tumors outside of myxomas. Approximately 3 quarters of primary cardiac tumors are benign and 1 quarter is malignant. In most cases, cardiac tumors are silent but when symptoms do occur, they are primarily determined by tumor size and anatomical location, not by histopathology. The diagnosis and preoperative imaging relies heavily on multimodal imaging including echocardiography, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and coronary angiography. Surgical resection is the most common treatment for most simple primary cardiac tumors and for some complex benign tumors. Surgical resection of primary cardiac tumors frequently involves the need for complex cardiac reconstruction, particularly when malignant. Secondary tumors to the heart are 30 times more frequent than primary cardiac tumors, and their incidence is increasing, largely as a result of advances in cancer diagnosis and therapy. Surgical resection is feasible in only a small fraction of highly-selected patients with secondary tumors to the heart. For complex benign tumors—such as paraganglioma or large fibromas—and all primary and secondary malignant tumors, a multidisciplinary cardiac tumor team review in experienced centers of excellence is recommended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)385-397
Number of pages13
JournalSeminars in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 12 2018


  • cardiac tumor
  • malignant tumor
  • sarcoma
  • tumor team

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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