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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Presentation

History

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.

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Physical

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.

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Causes

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]

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