315. Case Report: A Mystery Mass in the Heart – University of Chicago – Northshore University

In this episode, CardioNerds co-founder Amit Goyal joins Dr. Iva Minga, Dr. Kevin Lee, and Dr. Juan Pablo Salazar Adum from the University of Chicago – Northshore in Evanston, IL to discuss a case of primary cardiac diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. The ECPR for this episode is provided by Dr. Amit Pursnani (Advanced Cardiac Imaging, Fellowship program director, NorthShore University HealthSystem). Audio editing by CardioNerds Academy Intern, Dr. Akiva Rosenzveig.

Case synopsis: A 77-year-old man with no significant medical history presents to the emergency department with progressive shortness of breath for 1 week. He reports an unintentional 15-pound weight loss in the prior month as well as constipation and abdominal/flank pain. On examination he was found to be tachycardic with a regular rhythm and further evaluation with a chest X-ray and chest CT scan demonstrated a large pericardial effusion. This was further investigated with an urgent echocardiogram that revealed a large pericardial effusion with a large mass attached to the pericardial side of the RV free wall, as well as signs of early cardiac tamponade. A pericardiocentesis was performed and 550mL of bloody fluid was withdrawn. The fluid was sent for laboratory analysis and cytology. A cardiac MRI demonstrated a large invasive mass in the pericardium and RV wall consistent with cardiac lymphoma. Cytology confirmed diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Subsequent CT and PET scans did not find any other site of malignancy, giving the patient a diagnosis of primary cardiac diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. The patient underwent R-CHOP chemotherapy and was followed closely with repeat cardiac MRI and PET scans which demonstrated resolution of the cardiac mass at his one-year surveillance follow-up.

This case was published in US Cardiology Review, the official journal of CardioNerds. To learn more, access the case report article here.

“To study the phenomena of disease without books is to sail an uncharted sea, while to study books without patients is not to go to sea at all.” – Sir William Osler. CardioNerds thank the patients and their loved ones whose stories teach us the Art of Medicine and support our Mission to Democratize Cardiovascular Medicine.

CardioNerds is collaborating with Radcliffe Cardiology and US Cardiology Review journal (USC) for a ‘call for cases’, with the intention to co-publish high impact cardiovascular case reports, subject to double-blind peer review. Case Reports that are accepted in USC journal and published as the version of record (VOR), will also be indexed in Scopus and the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).

Enjoy this Circulation 2022 Paths to Discovery article to learn about the CardioNerds story, mission, and values.

315. Case Report: A Mystery Mass in the Heart - University of Chicago - Northshore University

Pearls – A Mystery Mass in the Heart – Cardiac Lymphoma

  • The most common cause of malignant cardiac masses is metastasis.
  • Primary cardiac tumors are rare.
  • Cardiac tumors are separated into 2 categories: benign and malignant. They are often differentiated based on their location and their degree of tissue invasion.
  • Multimodality imaging is essential in the diagnosis, management, and surveillance of cardiac masses.
  • A multidisciplinary team approach is invaluable for management of patients with cardiac tumors.

Show Notes – A Mystery Mass in the Heart – Cardiac Lymphoma

1. What is the clinical presentation of cardiac masses?

Cardiac masses can have a variable presentation. They can present with arrhythmias, angina, heart failure symptoms, or pericardial effusion. Patients can also be asymptomatic; the masses can be found incidentally on cardiac or chest imagining.

2. What is the differential diagnosis for cardiac masses?

Cardiac masses are separated into benign and malignant. The most common malignant cardiac masses are metastases from a distant source. The location of the mass is important in narrowing the differential.

3. What imaging modalities are used to diagnose cardiac masses?

Multimodality imaging is needed to describe the mass in detail and guide diagnosis. An echocardiogram is usually the first imaging modality. Cardiac MRI is a great modality that allows for the detailed visualization as well as tissue characterization of the mass. Cardiac CT, chest CT, and PET scans are also imagining modalities that can be used in the management of the mass.

4. How do you manage cardiac masses?

Management of cardiac masses depends on etiology (benign or malignant) and the associated hemodynamic changes associated with it. For example, if a benign cardiac mass is associated with significant valvular regurgitation, cardiac surgery needs to be considered for management. A multidisciplinary team including cardiology, heart failure, critical care cardiology, cardio-oncology, oncology, cardiac surgery, and other specialties may be involved in the management of cardiac masses and their manifestations.

References – A Mystery Mass in the Heart – Cardiac Lymphoma

1. Alerhand, S., & Carter, J. (2019). What echocardiographic findings suggest a pericardial effusion is causing tamponade? American Journal of Emergency Medicine, 37(2), 321-326.

2. McAllister, H. A., & Fenoglio, J. J. (1978). Tumors of the Cardiovascular System. Atlas of Tumor Pathology, Series 2. Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington DC, 2, 20.

3. Tyebally, S., Chen, D., Bhattacharyya, S., Mughrabi, A., Hussain, Z., Manisty, C., Westwood, M., Ghosh, A. K., & Guha, A. (2020). Cardiac Tumors: JACC CardioOncology State-of-the-Art Review. JACC. CardioOncology, 2(2), 293-311.

4. Motwani, M., Kidambi, A., Herzog, B. A., Uddin, A., Greenwood, J. P., & Plein, S. (2013). MR imaging of cardiac tumors and masses: a review of methods and clinical applications. Radiology, 268(1), 26-43.

5. Spodick, D. H. (2003). Acute cardiac tamponade. New England Journal of Medicine, 349(7), 684-690.

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