In the course of the evaluation of 5 patients with left atrial myxoma, it was noted that the movement of the myxoma was related to specific changes in left atrial hemodynamics. Prolapsing tumors, Type I, move from the left ventricle to the left atrium in early systole and from the left atrium to the left ventricle in early diastole, thereby causing prominent c and v waves accompanied by a rapid y descent. Nonprolapsing tumors, Type II, remain in the left atrium during the entire cardiac cycle, impeding flow across the mitral valve. In these latter cases, the y descent is slow and indistinguishable from that caused by mitral valvular stenosis. The cineangiocardiograms and echocardiograms corroborate these 2 types of homodynamic observations. The particular value of direct echocardiographic examination of the left atrium prior to cardiac catheterization was evident in 2 of the 3 patients with nonprolapsing tumors. Since the hemodynamic pattern of nonprolapsing left atrial myxoma resembles that of mitral valvular stenosis, it is stressed that echocardiography should have an important place in precatheterization assessment of patients with mitral valve disease. If left atrial myxoma is suspected clinically or on the basis of echocardiographic findings, regardless of the pressure curve contours, transseptal cardiac catheterization should be avoided and the left atrium visualized by pulmonary angiography levophase.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)