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Papillary fibroelastoma of the aortic valve - a case report and literature review

Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1186/1749-8090-5-84
  • Case Report
  • Medicine


The prevalence of primary cardiac tumour ranges from 0.0017-0.28% and papillary fibroelastoma is rare but not uncommon benign cardiac neoplasm. Currently, with the advent of higher-resolution imaging technology especially transoesophageal echocardiography such cases being recognized frequently. The clinical presentation of these tumours varies from asymptomatic to severe ischaemic or embolic complications. We herein, present a 50-year-old female patient with a papillary fibroelastoma of the aortic valve arising from the endocardium of the right coronary cusp very close to the commissure between the right and non-coronary cusps. The patient presented with angina-like chest pain and was investigated using echocardiography and CT angiographic modalities in addition to the usual investigations. The differential diagnosis considered was a thrombus, myxoma, Lambl's excrescence and infective vegetation. The surgical management included a prompt resection of the tumour on cardiopulmonary bypass avoiding injury to the aortic valve. The patient recovered well. A review of the literature suggests that the cardiac papillary fibroelastoma is a rare but potentially treatable cause of embolic stroke and other fatal complications, therefore, a strong suspicion; appropriate use of imaging modality, preoperative anticoagulation and urgent surgical resection is warranted. Also, possibility of this diagnosis should be kept in mind while managing cardiac or valvular tumours.

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