What Is A "Mass" On The Heart?

Question

Asked by Alan Mayfield

What Is A "Mass" On The Heart?

I had a echocardiogram done on my heart recently, and now I have been told there is a "mass" on the heart. What could this mean?

Answer

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.

Here are some articles you might find useful in the meantime:

Heart Disease Symptoms, Treatments, and Drug Information

Stress and Heart Disease: How to Lower Levels to Reduce Your Risk

Five Easy Ways to Help Your Heart