ENGLISH ABSTRACT
JOURNAL ARTICLE
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[Atrial tumors in cardiac MRI].

Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an important tool for the diagnosis of cardiac masses. Various cardiac tumors are predisposed to occurring in atrial structures. The aim of this review article is the description of atrial tumors and their morphological features in MRI. In general, cardiac tumors are rare: approximately 0.001 - 0.03 % in autopsy studies. About 75 % of them are benign. The most common cardiac tumor is the myxoma. They are predisposed to occur in the atria and show a characteristically strong hyperintense signal on T 2-wieghted images in MRI. In other sequences a heterogeneous pattern reflects its variable histological appearance. Lipomas exhibit a signal behavior identical to fatty tissue with a typical passive movement in cine imaging. Fibroelastomas are the most common tumors of the cardiac valves. Consisting of avascular fibrous tissue, they often present with hypointense signal intensities. Thrombi attached to their surface can cause severe emboli even in small tumors. Amongst primary cardiac malignancies, sarcomas are most common and favor the atria. Secondary malignancies of the heart are far more common than primary ones (20 - 40 times). In case of known malignancies, approximately 10 % of patients develop cardiac metastasis at the end of their disease. Lymphogenic metastases favor the pericardium, while hematogenic spread prefers the myocardium. Since they are not real atrial tumors, thrombi and anatomical structures of the atria have to be differentiated from other pathologies.

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