JOURNAL ARTICLE
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MRI of primary malignant cardiovascular tumors.

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to describe the MR features of primary malignant cardiac tumors, which may aid in differentiation from primary benign cardiac tumors.

METHOD: Seven patients with primary malignant cardiac tumor were imaged with MR. All studies were performed on a 1.5 T MR imager using variable combinations of SE T1-weighted cine gradient MR and post-Gd-DTPA SE T1-weighted MR with fat saturation sequences. The following features were analyzed on images: length of attachment to cardiac structures, size of tumors, involvement of more than one chamber, extension to pericardium or beyond the heart, and necrosis of the mass.

RESULTS: All cases had a wide point of attachment. Six of the seven tumors were large in size and occupied almost the entire cardiac chamber. There was involvement of more than one cardiac chamber or great vessel in three patients. Pericardial or extracardiac extension occurred in four and two patients, respectively. Tumor necrosis was evident in two patients. All patients had at least one of these signs of malignant tumor.

CONCLUSION: Primary malignant cardiac tumors have distinctive MR features that can be used to differentiate them from primary benign cardiac tumors.

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