An atrial myxoma is a primary heart tumour which originates within the heart; most heart tumours start somewhere else before spreading to the heart by the bloodstream or by direct invasion.
Primary cardiac tumours are rare and myxomas are the most common. The majority of myxomas occur in the left atrium of the heart, usually beginning in the wall that divides the two upper chambers of the heart. The rest are in the right atrium. Right atrial myxomas are sometimes associated with aneurysms.
Atrial myxomas are more common in women. About 10% of myxomas are inherited. Such tumours are called familial myxomas. They tend to occur in more than one part of the heart at a time, and often cause symptoms at a younger age than other myxomas.
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