What is the pathophysiology of angiosarcoma?

Updated: Jan 17, 2019
  • Author: John H Raaf, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Eric H Yang, MD  more...
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Nearly 80% of cardiac angiosarcomas arise as mural masses in the right atrium. Typically, they completely replace the atrial wall and fill the entire cardiac chamber. They may invade adjacent structures (eg, vena cava, tricuspid valve).

On cardiac magnetic resonance imaging, angiosarcoma appears as a heterogeneous, nodular mass in the right atrium, and grossly, there are invariably areas of hemorrhage.

These tumors are both symptomatic and rapidly fatal. Extensive pericardial spread and encasement of the heart often occur. Pericardial angiosarcoma (without myocardial involvement) occurs rarely.

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