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Abstract

        The aim of this study was to review the role of MRI in the assessment of heart neoplasm. Twenty-five cases with heart neoplasm (10 myxoma, 6 rhabdomyoma, 5 angiosarcoma, 2 mesothelioma, 1 lymphoma, and 1 fibroma) were examined with MRI and echocardiography. Multislice T1- and T2-weighted spin-echo images and static gradient-echo images were taken in appropriate directions with electrocardiogram gating. Gadolinium enhancement was performed in 21 cases. Transthoracic echocardiography was performed in all cases. Except for the five patients with rhabdomyoma, the pathological diagnosis was obtained. MRI proved to be useful for tissue characterization of myxoma, angiosarcoma, mesothelioma, and fibroma in cases with tuberous sclerosis. MRI also proved to be useful for detection of the tumor, depiction of contour, relation with other cardiac structures, in cases with myxoma, angiosarcoma, mesothelioma, lymphoma, and fibroma. In the differential diagnosis, MRI provided important information in cases with myxoma, rhabdomyoma, angiosarcoma, and fibroma. In cases with tumors expanding into the mediastinum, such as mesothelioma and fibroma in this report, MRI was useful in determining the location and border. In cases with tumors adjacent to pericardium, MRI was useful in detecting pericardial invasion. Gadolinium enhancement added useful information in cases with myxoma, rhabdomyoma, angiosarcoma, and mesothelioma. The role of MRI with and without Gd enhancement differs somewhat in individual types of heart neoplasm, and adaptation must be considered in each kind of neoplasm. On the other hand, MRI is an essential examination in all cases with a cardiac mass, which has not been diagnosed, since it may provide useful information for the differential diagnosis.
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