Cardiac masses diagnosis and treatment are a true challenge, although they are infrequently encountered in clinical practice. They encompass a broad set of lesions that include neoplastic (primary and secondary), non-neoplastic masses and pseudomasses. The clinical presentation of cardiac tumors is highly variable and depends on several factors such as size, location, relation with other structures and mobility. The presumptive diagnosis is made based on a preliminary non-invasive diagnostic work-up due to technical difficulties and risks associated with biopsy, which is still the diagnostic gold standard. The findings should always be interpreted in the clinical context to avoid misdiagnosis, particularly in specific conditions (e.g., infective endocarditis or thrombi). The modern multi-modality imaging techniques has a key role not only for the initial assessment and differential diagnosis but also for management and surveillance of the cardiac masses. Cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) allows an optimal non-invasive localization of the lesion, providing multiplanar information on its relation to surrounding structures. Moreover, with the additional feature of tissue characterization, CMR can be highly effective to distinguish pseudomasses from masses, as well as benign from malignant lesions, with further differential diagnosis of the latter. Although histopathological assessment is important to make a definitive diagnosis, CMR plays a key role in the diagnosis of suspected cardiac masses with a great impact on patient management. This literature review aims to provide a comprehensive overview of cardiac masses, from clinical and imaging protocol to pathological findings.
Cardiovascular magnetic resonance of cardiac tumors and masses. Gatti M, D'Angelo T, Muscogiuri G, Dell'aversana S, Andreis A, Carisio A, Darvizeh F, Tore D, Pontone G, Faletti R. World J Cardiol. 2021 Nov 26;13(11):628-649. doi: 10.4330/wjc.v13.i11.628.