Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Left atrial myxoma: an unusual cause of postpartum tachycardia and shortness of breath
  1. Tahir Nazir1,2,
  2. Saad Ahmed3 and
  3. Irfan Munir Ahmed3
  1. 1 Division of Cardiovascular Sciences, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
  2. 2 Department of Medicine, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Preston, UK
  3. 3 Department of Cardiology, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Preston, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Tahir Nazir, tahir.nazir-2{at}


Primary cardiac tumours are exceedingly rare in clinical practice and a myxoma is certainly not the first suspected diagnosis on a list of differentials in a patient presenting with breathlessness and tachycardia. Naturally, a structured work-up to rule out much more common conditions will take place. Nonetheless, an index of clinical suspicion is required especially when a clear-cut diagnosis is not forthcoming. We describe a case of a postpartum woman who presented with shortness of breath and palpitations, and was eventually diagnosed with a left atrial tumour. She underwent a successful surgical excision of the mass which was found to be a myxoma on histological examination. We review and present an up-to-date literature review on epidemiology, pathophysiology, clinical features, diagnosis and treatment options for cardiac myxomas.

  • pregnancy
  • heart failure
  • valvar diseases
View Full Text

Statistics from


  • Contributors TN has written the original manuscript. SA and IMA have both equally contributed to reviewing and editing the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.