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An Pediatr (Barc). 2003 Mar;58(3):273-6.

[Cerebrovascular stroke as a sign of atrial myxoma in childhood].

[Article in Spanish]

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Servicios de Pediatría. Hospital General Universitario de Alicante. España.


Primary cardiac tumors are uncommon with an estimated incidence of between 0.0017 % and 0.19 %. Most are benign. Whereas myxomas are the most common primary tumor in adults, in children they are exceptionally rare. Cardiac myxomas usually develop in the left atrium, 20 % occur in the right atrium and the remainder develops in the ventricles and rarely in the heart valves. Cerebrovascular strokes secondary to myxoma are rare in childhood. The diagnostic test of choice is transesophageal echocardiogram and early excision is the most effective treatment in preventing serious complications. We report a case of cerebral stroke as the only manifestation of an atrial myxoma in an 11-year-old-girl. The patient presented vertigo, right hemiparesis of the body and dysarthria without loss of consciousness. After diagnostic tests (computerized tomography, magnetic resonance imaging and cerebral angioresonance) she was diagnosed with an ischemic lesion in the left middle cerebral artery. Various investigations were performed to find the cause of the stroke, among them cardiologic study, and a mass in the left atrium suggestive of myxoma was found. The tumor was removed and the diagnosis of myxoma was confirmed by histopathological examination. Outcome was satisfactory. The presence of a cerebral ischemic episode, with or without concomitant heart disease, suggests the need to look for cardiac etiology.

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