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Incidence rate of primary cardiac tumors: a 14-year population study

Cresti, Alberto; Chiavarelli, Mario; Glauber, Mattia; Tanganelli, Piero; Scalese, Marco; Cesareo, Francesca; Guerrini, Francesco; Capati, Eugenia; Focardi, Marta; Severi, Silva

Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine: January 2016 - Volume 17 - Issue 1 - p 37–43
doi: 10.2459/JCM.0000000000000059
Cardiac tumors

Aims Incidence of primary cardiac tumors (PCTs) is not known. Literature data derive from autoptic studies or echocardiographic registries. An incidence of 1 of 1000 autoptic and 1.5 of 1000 echocardiographic study is reported but data from a general population are not available. The aim of our study was to evaluate the incidence rate of PCTs in the general population.

Methods All patients with suspected cardiac mass were evaluated with basal echocardiogram and/or transesophageal echocardiogram/cardiac magnetic resonance by Grosseto's cardiology department, the county referral center for both adult and pediatric populations. Diagnosis was confirmed at surgical excision (32), autoptic specimens (3) or by multimodal imaging when surgery was not indicated (7). The database of the county health system was interrogated to identify residents with The International Classification of Diseases-9 codes of PCT. Forty-two consecutive cases of PCTs were diagnosed from 1 January 1998, through 31 December 2011, among residents in Grosseto's county.

Results Incidence rate of PCTs was 1.38 of 100 000 inhabitants per year. PCTs were benign in 38 patients (90.5%) and malignant in four (9.5%). Twenty myxomas were found (48%), followed by seven fibroelastomas (15%), six lipomas (15%), three rhabdomyomas (8%), two hemangioma (5%), two sarcomas (5%), one lymphoma (2%) and one pericardial hemangiopericytoma (2%). Incidence of benign PCT was 1.24 of 100 000/year; referring only to myxomas we found an incidence of 0.68 of 100 000/year.

Conclusion This is the first population study on PCT, a rare disease with an incidence rate of 1.38 new cases per 100,000 residents per year.

aDivision of Cardiology, Misericordia Hospital, Grosseto

bDepartment of Cardiac Surgery, University of Siena, Siena

cG. Pasquinucci Heart Hospital, Massa

dInstitute of Clinical Physiology, National Council of Research, F. G. Monasterio, Pisa, Italy

Correspondence to Alberto Cresti, Cardiologist, Cardiological Department, Misericordia Hospital, via Senese 58100 Grosseto, Italy Tel: +39 347 3387807; fax: +39 0564 485830; e-mail:

Received 8 July, 2013

Revised 20 February, 2014

Accepted 20 February, 2014

© 2016 Italian Federation of Cardiology. All rights reserved.