Surgical Treatment of Primary Cardiac Sarcomas: Review of a Single-Institution Experience

Basel Ramlawi, Monika J. Leja, Walid K. Abu Saleh, Odeaa Al Jabbari, Robert Benjamin, Vinod Ravi, Oz M. Shapira, Shanda H. Blackmon, Brian A. Bruckner, Michael J. Reardon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


Background Primary cardiac sarcomas are rare, aggressive, and usually lethal. Surgical management protocols are not defined because of the lack of extensive experience in treating these patients. In this study, we reviewed our outcomes with primary cardiac sarcoma, and we make recommendations regarding management. Methods Review of the Houston Methodist Hospital cardiac tumor database from 1990 to 2015 (25 years) yielded 131 primary cardiac evaluations of possible cardiac sarcoma. From these we identified 95 patients who underwent surgical excision. A computer search of cardiac sarcomas yielded 131 tumors that were coded as primary cardiac sarcoma or possible primary cardiac sarcoma. Retrospective data collection and clinical outcomes were evaluated for all 95 patients. Medical records and follow-up material were requested for all patients through clinic visits and contacting the physician of the patient, the hospital record department, and the cardiac tumor board after previous approval. The procedures were performed using an institutional review board–approved cardiac tumor protocol, and the patients gave full consent. Results All 95 patients were diagnosed as having primary cardiac sarcoma by histologic appearance. Age ranged from 15 to 84 years at the time of presentation (mean, 44 years). Male patients made up 57% of the sample. The most common site for the cardiac sarcoma was the right atrium (37 patients) followed by the left atrium (31 patients). Postoperative 1-year mortality was 35% (33 patients). The most common tumor histologic type was angiosarcoma (40%) followed by spindle cell sarcoma (11%). Conclusions Primary cardiac sarcoma is a rare but lethal disease. Surgical intervention is associated with acceptable surgical mortality in this high-risk group of patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)698-702
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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