Cardiac Sarcoma Clinical Presentation

Updated: Oct 15, 2015
  • Author: John H Raaf, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Eric H Yang, MD  more...
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No typical presentation of cardiac sarcoma exists because the common symptoms and signs are nonspecific. However, patients may complain of dyspnea, chest pain, and/or generalized fatigue.



Cardiac sarcoma has no pathognomonic physical features that may be discovered on examination. However, the following signs may accompany cardiac sarcoma:

  • Dyspnea

  • Hemoptysis

  • Diminished cardiac sounds

  • Friction rub

  • Rales

  • Refractory arrhythmias

  • Heart block

  • Heart failure

An audible plop due to tumor prolapse through the mitral valve may be appreciated.

Left-sided embolization may lead to cerebrovascular accident, peripheral organ infarction, seizures, and distant metastases.

Upper extremity and facial congestion (suggestive of superior vena cava syndrome) and dysphonia may occur.



No specific causes of cardiac sarcomas are known. Cytogenetic analysis of these tumors may show numerical and structural chromosomal changes. Immunohistochemical analysis has revealed, in the case of a cardiac angiosarcoma, high expression of mutated p53 gene products. [7]