Myxoma historical perspective

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Maria Fernanda Villarreal, M.D. [2]


Cardiac myxoma was first described in 1845. In 1951, Prichard described a kind of microscopic endocardial structure of the atrial septum, which was suggested to be associated with cardiac myxoma. Clarence Crafoord, a Swedish cardiovascular surgeon successfully removed a cardiac myxoma for the first time in 1954. Before 1951, cardiac myxoma diagnosis was made only at post-mortem examination.

Historical perspective

  • In 1845, the first description of a left atrial myxoma was reported by King.[1]
  • In 1951, Prichard described a kind of microscopic endocardial structure of the atrial septum, which was suggested to be related to cardiac myxoma.[2] In the same year, intracardiac myxoma was recognized by angiography for the first time. Before 1951, cardiac myxoma diagnosis was made only at autopsy.
  • In 1959, the first M-mode echocardiogram was used to diagnose a left atrial myxoma.[3]
  • In 2000, gene mutation PRKAR1A was first identified in the pathogenesis of cardiac myxoma syndromes, such as; LAMB (lentigines, atrial myxoma, mucocutaneous myxomas and blue nevi), NAME (nevi, atrial myxoma, mucinosis of the skin, and endocrine overactivity), and Carney complex (myxomas, spotty skin pigmentation and endocrine overactivity).[4][5]

Landmark Events in the Development of Treatment Strategies

  • In 1954, Clarence Crafoord (1899 – 1984), a Swedish cardiovascular surgeon, successfully removed a cardiac myxoma for the first time. This case also represents the first extirpation of a cardiac tumor on cardiopulmonary support.[6]


  1. King TW. On simple vascular growths in the left auricle of the heart. Lancet 1845; 2:428-9
  2. Amano J, Kono T, Wada Y, Zhang T, Koide N, Fujimori M, Ito K (2003). "Cardiac myxoma: its origin and tumor characteristics". Ann Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 9 (4): 215–21. PMID 13129418.
  3. Pinede L, Duhaut P, Loire R (2001). "Clinical presentation of left atrial cardiac myxoma. A series of 112 consecutive cases". Medicine (Baltimore). 80 (3): 159–72. PMID 11388092.
  4. Carney JA, Hruska LS, Beauchamp GD, Gordon H (1986). "Dominant inheritance of the complex of myxomas, spotty pigmentation, and endocrine overactivity". Mayo Clin. Proc. 61 (3): 165–72. PMID 3945116.
  5. Mabuchi T, Shimizu M, Ino H, Yamguchi M, Terai H, Fujino N, Nagata M, Sakata K, Inoue M, Yoneda T, Mabuchi H (2005). "PRKAR1A gene mutation in patients with cardiac myxoma". Int. J. Cardiol. 102 (2): 273–7. doi:10.1016/j.ijcard.2004.05.053. PMID 15982496.
  6. Chitwood WR (1992). "Clarence Crafoord and the first successful resection of a cardiac myxoma". Ann. Thorac. Surg. 54 (5): 997–8. PMID 1417305.