Cardiac and Pericardial Neoplasms in Children: Radiologic-Pathologic Correlation

Mariangeles Medina Perez, John P. Lichtenberger, Alison R. Huppmann, Mariangela Gomez, Karen I.Ramirez Suarez, Ann Foran, Danish Vaiyani, Ammie M. White, David M. Biko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Primary cardiac and pericardial neoplasms are rare in the pediatric population and can include both benign and malignant lesions. Rhabdomyomas, teratomas, fibromas, and hemangiomas are the most common benign tumors. The most common primary cardiac malignancies are soft-tissue sarcomas, including undifferentiated sarcomas, rhabdomyosarcomas, and fibrosarcomas. However, metastatic lesions are more common than primary cardiac neoplasms. Children with primary cardiac and pericardial tumors may present with nonspecific cardiovascular symptoms, and their clinical presentation may mimic that of more common nonneoplastic cardiac disease. The diagnosis of cardiac tumors has recently been facilitated using noninvasive cardiac imaging. Echocardiography is generally the first-line modality for evaluation. Cardiac MRI and CT are used for tissue characterization and evaluation of tumor size, extension, and physiologic effect. The varied imaging appearances of primary cardiac neoplasms can be explained by their underlying abnormality. Treatment of these lesions varies from conservative management, with spontaneous regression of some lesions such as rhabdomyomas, to surgical resection, particularly in patients with associated heart failure. With adequate imaging techniques and knowledge of the pathologic basis of the neoplasm, it is often possible to differentiate benign from malignant tu-mors, which can greatly affect adequate and timely treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere230010
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2023
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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