Cardiac Tumors in Infants and Children

Jieh Neng Wang, Chih Ta Yao, Jiann Shiuh Chen, Yu Jen Yang, Yu Chien Tsai, Jing Ming Wu

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16 Citations (Scopus)


Cardiac tumors in infants and children are extremely rare. Their clinical manifestations vary widely from asymptomatic presentations to life-threatening cardiac events. Improvements in diagnostic techniques, such as those offered by echocardiography, have made early detection of cardiac masses possible, with or without the presence of clinical symptoms. Fifteen pediatric cases of cardiac tumor were diagnosed at our institution between July 1989 and July 2002 (male-female ratio, 10:5; age range, one day to nine years). Eleven of the cases involved primary cardiac tumors [rhabdomyoma (n=lO) and fibroma (n=1)]. Ninety percent of the rhabdomyomas (9/10) were associated with tuberous sclerosis. Four of the fifteen cases were secondary metastatic tumors [hepatoblastoma (n=2), hepatoma (n=1) and rhabdomyosarcoma (n=1)]. Clinical manifestations of the cardiac tumors included shortness of breath (n=5), seizure (n=4), cardiac murmur (n=6), and cyanosis (n=3). Surgery was performed for three of 11 patients with primary cardiac tumor (27%) due to severe obstruction of flow (n=2) and other cardiac defects (n=l). The primary cardiac tumor spontaneously regressed in five of the tuberous sclerosis patients. All four of the patients with secondary cardiac tumors continued to receive chemotherapy, and only one of them subsequently experienced regression. Based on our experiences, we conclude that: 1) rhabdomyoma is the most common primary cardiac tumor in children; 2) most pediatric tumors are associated with tuberous sclerosis; 3) clinical presentation is determined by the tumor size and number of tumors, and whether expansion of the malignancy has resulted in cardiac blood-flow obstruction; 4) there is a strong possibility of regression of the primary cardiac tumor, with surgery recommended only when cardiac symptoms are severe; and, 5) unless there is a significant obstruction of blood flow, chemotherapy is still the treatment of choice for secondary cardiac tumors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-219
Number of pages5
JournalActa Paediatrica Taiwanica
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Jul

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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