Angiosarcoma causing cardiac rupture

  • Nobuhiko Mukohara
  • Satoshi Tobe
  • Takashi Azami


We report the 7th known case in the literature of cardiac angiosarcoma resulting in cardiac rupture. A 34-year-old woman was admitted presenting chest pain and pericardial effusion. After the patient had been treated for 3 months under the diagnosis of pericarditis of unknown etiology, she became hypotensive. Doppler echocardiography showed increased pericardial effusion and a communication between the right atrium and the pericardial cavity. An emergency operation was undertaken to drain the effusion and explore the etiology. We found the ruptured right atrium and the irregularly shaped tumor extending from the pericardium near the inferior caval vein to the right ventricle. There was no apparent tumor on the right atrium, but its wall was extensively thin, which we replaced with autologous pericardium. The patient died on the 44th postoperative day. Clinical diagnosis of cardiac angiosarcoma is usually very difficult. If Doppler echocardiography demonstrates pericardial effusion and find a ruptured right atrium with or without mass formation, we should suspect cardiac angiosarcoma.

Key words

cardiac angiosarcoma cardiac rupture cardiac tamponade 


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Copyright information

© Japanese Association for Thoracic Surgery 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nobuhiko Mukohara
    • 1
  • Satoshi Tobe
    • 1
  • Takashi Azami
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Cardiovascular SurgeryMiki City Hospital MikiHyogoJapan

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