CASE 3764 Published on 24.05.2005

Multiple mixomas



Case Type

Clinical Cases


Lombardi M, Giusti S, Zampa V


18 years, female

Clinical History
An asymptomatic 18-year-old female patient came to our department to undergo a routine echocardiography.
Imaging Findings
The patient's medical history showed that three years earlier an intervention for curettage of mitral leaflets had been performed. The patient came to our department to undergo a routine echocardiography; the results of which revealed the presence of a mass in the left ventricle.
The images show the presence, within both the right and the left ventricles, of nodular masses with a similar signal behaviour in the different sequences adopted. The inhomogeneous signal pattern shown either before or after contrast administration is typical of cardiac mixoma. In 81% of the cases, haemorrhage, thrombosis or haemoglobin catabolites (such as haemosiderin) are found within the mass; thus the dis-homogeneous signal. Also calcifications, which are found in 56% of cases, can induce hypointensity of the signal in GRE T2* images (1-3). In triple IR, as well as in T2 images, the high signal intensity derives from the mixoid tissue (4). Necrotic or cystic areas show low enhancement after contrast administration (5). These neoplastic masses originate from undifferentiated mesenchymal cells with multi-potential capability. “Sporadic” and “non-sporadic” mixomas have been described. The latter are associated with local recurrence and a distant embolisation and can be a part of a heritable syndrome involving the skin, endocrine tumours and lentiginosis. Apparently, these kinds of mixomas can have an abnormal DNA pattern, an issue which is still under investigation. This case has the peculiarity of the presence of multiple mixomas: the two shown in the present examination, and a previous one which was surgically removed, on the mitral leaflet. These findings can raise the suspicion of a “non-sporadic” form of mixoma. Usually, echocardiography is a suitable technique for an accurate diagnosis. However, an MRI has the potentiality to provide a better definition of the histological and spatial characteristics of the tumour.
Differential Diagnosis List
Multiple mixomas.
Final Diagnosis
Multiple mixomas.
Case information
DOI: 10.1594/EURORAD/CASE.3764
ISSN: 1563-4086