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Primary cardiac angiosarcoma masquerading as intracardiac thrombus
  1. Nicholas Villano1,
  2. William P Flavin2 and
  3. Pamela Tsing3,4
  1. 1Department of Internal Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  2. 2Department of Neurology, UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, USA
  3. 3Division of Hospital Medicine, West Los Angeles VA Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, USA
  4. 4David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, California, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Pamela Tsing; pamela.tsing{at}


A 49-year-old man with a recent history of atrial tachycardia and intracardiac thrombus presented to the emergency department with melena and cardiac tamponade. Physical examination was notable for a vascular mass at the right lower gingival sulcus and a right chest wall nodule. Enteroscopy revealed a target lesion with friable ulcer in the gastric body. Cardiac MRI revealed a large right atrial mass, previously thought to represent thrombus. The patient was ultimately diagnosed with primary cardiac angiosarcoma (PCAS) by histopathology of gingival, gastric and subcutaneous lesions. This case illustrates the significant morbidity and mortality resulting from aggressive local invasion and growth of PCAS, as well as the challenge of differentiating between primary thrombosis and vascular malignancy. Misdiagnosis of this elusive clinical entity may be costly, potentially resulting in delay of intervention and adverse effects of alternate therapies such as anticoagulation.

  • cancer - see oncology
  • cancer intervention
  • radiology
  • cardiothoracic surgery
  • venous thromboembolism

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  • Contributors NV, WPF and PT were involved in caring for the patient during his hospital stay, conceived the idea of writing a manuscript and made final revisions of the manuscript. PT established the overall concept of the manuscript and established its main teaching points. NV did an initial literature review and wrote a draft of the manuscript. PT and WPF conducted a separate literature review and critically reviewed and revised 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.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

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

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