Background: We present a large, single institution experience with adult cardiac tumors and address factors affecting outcome. Methods: A retrospective review was made of all patients who underwent surgery for primary cardiac tumors from April 1975 through August 2002. Results: Eighty-five patients (33 male and 52 female) with a mean age of 54 years were identified with follow-up available for 80 (94%) patients. There were 68 (80%) benign tumors and 17 (20%) malignant tumors. Three tumors recurred and were resected giving a total of 88 surgeries. All benign tumors were grossly resected and the extent of resection for malignant disease ranged from 14 (78%) gross resections and 3 (17%) debulkings to 1 (5%) biopsy. There were 4 (5%) early hospital deaths. Median survival was 9.6 months and 322 months for patients with malignant and benign diseases, respectively. Significant predictors of long-term mortality were malignant disease (P <0.0001) and New York Heart Association class (P <0.03). Conclusions: Surgical resection provides excellent outcome in patients with benign cardiac tumors. Malignant tumors continue to pose a challenge with good local tumor control but limited survival owing to metastatic disease.
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