HEART – Atrial myxoma

A heart, opened to display the left auricle and left ventricle. Arising in the auricle there is a cylindrical pale tumour, which is projecting through the mitral valve ring. Suture material is apparent in the upper part of the atrial wall, indicating previous surgery, and the atrial endocardium is thickened. Tumour tissue can be seen in the myocardium of both the atrium and ventricle posteriorly.
This young man presented at the age of 19 with feverish episodes and pain in both knees, suggesting rheumatic fever. His subsequent course and investigations established the presence of a left atrial myxoma, by which time he was in severe circulatory failure with pulmonary hypertension and there was evidence of cerebral infarction. The myxoma was partially removed, and it subsequently recurred. He died two years after the diagnosis was established.