Atrial myxoma

Introduction

  • A very rare tumour usually in the left atrium
  • Usually benign but can be malignant
  • Pieces of the tumour, or adherent clot, can embolise to the brain or other organs (see animation below)
  • Can obstruct the mitral valve causing intermittent reduction in cardiac output
  • Can usually be detected on transthoracic or transoesophageal echocardiography

How can atrial myxoma cause an ischaemic stroke?

Pieces of the tumour, or adherent clot, can embolise to the brain or other organs can then be carried through the circulation towards the brain causing ischaemic stroke.

Page last reviewed: 11 May 2020