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Primary cardiac valve tumours
  1. C Basso1,
  2. T Bottio2,
  3. M Valente1,
  4. R Bonato3,
  5. D Casarotto2,
  6. G Thiene1
  1. 1Institute of Pathology, University of Padua Medical School, Padua, Italy
  2. 2Institute of Cardiac Surgery, University of Padua Medical School
  3. 3Institute of Anaesthesiology, University of Padua Medical School
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr G Thiene, Institute of Pathology, Via A Gabelli, 61, 35121 Padua, Italy;

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Primary cardiac tumours (CT) are rare lesions with an estimated incidence at necropsy ranging from 0.001% to 0.3%.1 Myxoma, which is the most frequent primary CT, rarely growths on valve tissue, unlike papillary fibroelastoma, which most often arises from the valvar endocardium.1–3 The aim of the study was to assess the prevalence of valvar CT among a consecutive series of primary CT observed in a single cardiovascular pathology centre.


The records of the Institute of Pathological Anatomy, University of Padua, Italy were reviewed for CT involving primarily the valve apparatus (that is, leaflets, chordae tendineae, and papillary muscles). CT involving other extravalvar structures, as well as metastatic ones, were excluded.

Clinical data, including transthoracic (TTE) and transoesophageal (TOE) echocardiographic findings and surgical procedure, were collected from clinical records.

Gross and histological examination, including immunohistochemistry and transmission electron microscopy, were performed according to a previously reported method.2


In the time interval 1970–2002 a series of 182 primary CT, 21 autoptic and 161 bioptic, mostly consisting of myxomas (121, 66.5%), were studied.

Fifteen (8%) primary CT were located at the valve level: three autoptic (two male and one female patient, mean (SD) age 78 (4) years) and 12 bioptic (seven male and five female patients, age ranging from 4 months to 77 …

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