Introduction: Primary cardiac tumours are very rare neoplasms, usually with a late diagnosis in clinical practice, because of nonspecific symptoms and clinical signs.
Case presentation: We report the case of a 28-year-old woman, who presented for right flank and right iliac fossa pain, radiating to the right lower limb. The pain was progressive and had had its onset 3-4 days previously. The patient was known with renal calyceal microlithiasis (with renal colic in the history) and mild iron deficiency anaemia, and had a medical history of recurrent miscarriages. Physical examination revealed: sinus bradycardia (50-54 bpm), low-grade fever, and positive Giordano sign on the right side. The pain was considered as right renal colic and analgesics and antispasmodics were administered. Blood tests revealed normocytic, hypochromic anaemia and a mild inflammatory syndrome. Abdominal ultrasound revealed bilateral renal microlithiasis and also a triangular, hypoechoic area in the right kidney parenchyma, with no colour Doppler ultrasound signals. Echocardiography revealed a left atrial mass with a diameter of 1.5 cm, hyperechoic, heterogeneous, mobile, attached to the interatrial septum. Chest-abdomen-pelvis CT confirmed the presence of the cardiac mass, as well as an area of right renal infarction. Anticoagulant therapy with low molecular weight heparin was initiated. The patient was referred to the cardiovascular surgery department, where the cardiac mass was removed and sent for histological examination, which confirmed the diagnosis of left atrial myxoma. The patient had a favourable evolution.
Conclusions: The presence of sinus bradycardia in a young patient, without known cardiac diseases, led to the necessity of an echocardiography, which revealed the left atrial mass. Peripheral embolization with right kidney infarction represented the clinical onset of the cardiac tumour. In this patient, who presented with abdominal and right flank pain, the previous known diagnosis of renal microlithiasis was initially misleading. Cardiac tumours have unspecific symptoms and the first manifestations could be due to the embolization of tumour fragments in the periphery, mimicking, thus, other disorders.
Keywords: atrial myxoma, sinus bradycardia, peripheral embolization, renal infarction, renal colic, heart tumours.
“Carol Davila” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Bucharest, Romania