Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wednesday, December 10, 2008 Alan Mayfield, Community Member, asks

Q: What is a mass on the heart?

I had a echo done of my heart, now I have  been told there is a mass on the heart.  What could this mean?  Thank you Alan

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Answers (2)
Martin Cane, M.D., Health Pro
12/12/08 10:50am

Alan Mayfield,


Thanks for your question. 


A mass is a term that doctors use to describe any abnormal growth.  This does not mean that the growth is malignant or benign, just that it's something that shouldn't be there.


Masses of the heart are not very common.  There are rare growths or tumors that can occur involving the muscle tissue, and others that could involve the fatty tissue around the heart.  There is a normal fat pad at the right lower edge of the heart, which is some people is very prominent, raising concern that there is a growth. 


Another location is within the heart itself.  A myxoma is a collection of material from the bloodstream (clotting material, platetelts, blood cells) that form a ball and is attached to a heart valve, most commonly the mitral valve.  This mass is very mobile and can sometimes cause obstruction of the valve.  This has a characteristic appearance on echocardiograms. 


You must sit down with your doctor and discuss exactly where the mass is, what it could be, and what the next steps are.


Best wishes.


Martin Cane, M.D.  

karen, Community Member
12/14/09 1:31pm
how do they remove the mass Reply
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By Alan Mayfield, Community Member— Last Modified: 03/05/14, First Published: 12/10/08