Primary Cardiac Tumours in Infancy and Youth in the Small Population: a Seven Year Review

Elīna Teivane, Vita Zidere, Aris Lacis

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Introduction. Primary tumours of the heart are rare in fetuses, neonates and children; the incidence varies from 0.003% - 0.08%
(4, 6, 9, 10) up to 0.2% in children referred for cardiac examination (3, 15). Rhabdomyoma is the most common cardiac tumour
during fetal life (60-75%). Teratoma is less common (14 to 19%) with fibroma, myxoma, hemangioma also being described (3, 4,
6, 10, 16, and 18). Multiple rhabdomyomas are associated with tuberous sclerosis in up to 90-95% of cases (3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 12, and
16). No previous study was done on this topic in Latvia so our aim was to determine the incidence, the course and the outcome of
primary cardiac tumours in children in our small population.
Aim of the study. The aim of our study was to determine the incidence of primary cardiac tumours in our paediatric population, to
investigate the nature of the pathology, the course and the outcome of the disease in childhood in Latvia and to compare our results
with data from the international literature.
Materials and methods. We reviewed retrospectively the clinical, echocardiographic, operative, histological and follow-up data on
17 cases of a primary heart tumours detected within the period of January 1, 2000 till December 31, 2006 in the Clinic for Pediatric
Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery of the University Children’s Hospital in Riga, Latvia.
Results. the incidence of primary heart tumours in the paediatric population in Latvia is 2.4+/-1.4 cases per year. 94% (16) of
the primary cardiac tumours in children were benign and 6 %( 1) malignant. Radical excision performed in all 7 cases of surgical
treatment. Rhabdomyomas comprise 47% (n=8) of all the benign tumours with tuberous sclerosis present in 88% of the cases.
Conclusions. Most primary cardiac fetal tumours tend to appear in the third trimester of pregnancy, a normal early fetal scan might
not rule out cardiac tumours. Relatively often (29% of the cases) the cardiac tumours were an incidental finding. The localization,
number and visual appearance of the tumours in echocardiography was indicative of the type of tumour. 41% of the patients with
primary cardiac tumours were in need of urgent surgical treatment. Almost all benign primary cardiac tumours were not the cause of
death and with the exception of tuberous sclerosis there is good overall prognosis, in the case of malignant primary cardiac tumour
the prognosis is poor.
Key words: primary cardiac tumour, echocardiography, congenital heart disease.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-85
Number of pages5
JournalActa Chirurgica Latviensis
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • primary cardiac tumour
  • echocardiography
  • y, congenital heart disease

Field of Science*

  • 3.2 Clinical medicine

Publication Type*

  • 1.4. Reviewed scientific article published in Latvia or abroad in a scientific journal with an editorial board (including university editions)


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