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P R Health Sci J. 2013 Mar;32(1):14-7.

Heart tumors in Puerto Rico de novo atrial fibrillation as clinical presentation in a subgroup of patients.

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  • 1Department of Medicine and Physiology, University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus, San Juan, Puetro Rico.



Primary cardiac tumors are rare neoplasms in humans, of which the most common is the atrial Myxoma. The objective of this study was to find the incidence of these tumors at the Heart Center of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.


This study was approved by the Institutional Review Board of the Medical Sciences Campus University of Puerto Rico to review the records at the Heart Center of patients with heart tumors in the last 14 years.


The sample consists of 55 patients (78.9% were females and 24.1% were male) with a median age of 52 years. Sixty-five percent of patients lived in rural areas. Clinical presentations included shortness of breath (43.1%), chest pain (37.9%), asymptomatic (25%), palpitations (20.7%), neurologic symptoms (10.3%) and dizziness (6.9%). Electrocardiographic findings included normal sinus rhythm (53.4%), non-specific ST-T changes (32.8%), sinus tachycardia (20.7%), left atrial enlargement (10.3%) and atrial fibrillation (8.6%). A subgroup presenting with atrial fibrillation prior to diagnosis had left atrial myxoma. The tumors found, in descending order of frequency are: left atrial myxoma, right atrial myxoma, papillary fibroelastoma, hamartoma, lipoma and rhabdomyoma. We found a correlation between large left atrial myxoma and atrial fibrillation.


The most frequent heart tumor was atrial myxoma. The larger myxomas were associated with atrial fibrillation.

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