Neurologic complications of cardiac tumors

David Roeltgen, Chelsea S. Kidwell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

11 Scopus citations


Cardiac tumors are an uncommon cause for neurologic disease, but if undiagnosed can be associated with devastating neurologic consequences. Primary cardiac tumors, both benign and neoplastic, and metastatic tumors occur. Primary cardiac tumors are more likely to be associated with neurologic embolic complications. Metastatic cardiac tumors are more likely to be associated with valvular distraction, arrhythmia, diminished cardiac output and indirect neurological dysfunction. Primary and metastatic cardiac tumors may result in cerebral metastatic disease. Atrial myxoma, a benign primary cardiac tumor, is the most common cardiac tumor associated with neurologic disease, and most commonly causes cerebral embolization and stroke. The use of thrombolytic therapy for these strokes is controversial. Additionally, delayed manifestations, including aneurysm formation and intracranial hemorrhage, are possible. Aneurysm formation has been described as occurring after removal of the primary tumor. The availability of noninvasive cardiac imaging has significantly helped decrease the neurologic morbidity of cardiac tumors and has led to frequent successful intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Clinical Neurology
PublisherElsevier B.V.
Number of pages14
StatePublished - 2014

Publication series

NameHandbook of Clinical Neurology
ISSN (Print)0072-9752


  • Atrial myxoma
  • Cardiac turmor
  • Echocardiography
  • Embolic infarction
  • Fusiform aneurysm
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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