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Right atrial myxoma mistaken for recurrent pulmonary thromboembolism


A 69 year old man was admitted for investigation of right sided pleuritic chest pain and dyspnoea, both of which began suddenly four days before admission. Acute pulmonary embolism was diagnosed. Six months after discharge while on warfarin he died. Necropsy found a 50 mm diameter myxoid tumour arising on the right atrial side of the interatrial septum. This lesion may have been discovered earlier by echocardiography although there were no clear indications for this investigation. Presentation was that of recurrent pulmonary embolism with no obvious source or cause of thrombosis. Patients who are thought to have idiopathic pulmonary embolism should undergo early echocardiography to exclude the rare but treatable diseases of the right heart that may be responsible

  • atrial myxoma

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