Surgical experience with cardiac papillary fibroelastoma over a 15-year period

Melissa M. Anastacio, Marc R. Moon, Ralph J. Damiano, Michael K. Pasque, Hersh S. Maniar, Jennifer S. Lawton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Background: Papillary fibroelastomas are rare, benign cardiac tumors. They are predominantly asymptomatic. However, they can lead to serious complications, namely thromboembolic events. Symptomatic lesions can be managed primarily with surgical excision and valvular preservation. Controversy exists as to the management of asymptomatic lesions. Methods: All patients diagnosed with cardiac papillary fibroelastoma between 1996 and 2012 at a single institution were queried for clinical and pathologic characteristics. Results: Twenty-three patients with 29 lesions were identified. Most lesions were solitary, less than 1.0 cm in diameter, and occurred in patients greater than 60 years of age. The most common presentation was thromboembolic complication. All were managed successfully with surgical excision. One patient developed a recurrence or metachronous lesion within 3 months of initial surgical intervention. Conclusions: Papillary fibroelastomas are rare, benign, predominantly asymptomatic cardiac tumors that can cause potentially serious complications. The natural history and etiology of papillary fibroelastomas are largely unknown. Controversy exists over the management of asymptomatic lesions. However, there is consensus that symptomatic lesions should undergo surgical excision with valvular preservation when possible. A unique case of a possible papillary fibroelastoma recurrence is also described.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)537-541
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2012


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