Myxoma is the most common cardiac tumor, found in 75-80% of cases in the left atrium. It can grow quietly and therefore reach a large size before being symptomatic. Poor availability of echocardiography also contributes to delayed diagnosis. In Sub-Saharan African countries, myxoma diagnosis can be missed for many patients. Myxoma resection surgery, although technically simple, is not always possible, because of the lack of cardiac surgery development. The aim of this report is to describe the first two consecutive resection cases of huge left-atrial myxoma performed in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and to discuss the specificities of this surgery in this low-resource context.
Two patients, 54 and 48 years old, were diagnosed with giant myxoma of the left atrium in the management of progressive dyspnea The first patient's transthoracic echocardiography revealed a pedunculated atrial mass (37X48mm) on the interatrial septum, passing through the mitral valve. For the second patient, the mass (64X26mm) was attached to the roof of the left atrium and protruded into the mitral valve, with significant mitro-tricuspid regurgitation The first patient underwent a simple resection of the myxoma. For the second patient, it was associated to a mitro-tricuspid annuloplasty. The postoperative course was simple for the first patient, but the second patient developed a biventricular failure requiring vasoactive drugs. Both patients were discharged alive from the hospital on postoperative days 10 and 12, respectively. They are regularly followed up and are doing well 2 years after surgery.
Discussion and conclusion
Surgical resection is the only effective treatment of myxoma. Our first results are encouraging The poor availability of the echocardiography is a challenge in the diagnosis of myxoma. The development of cardiac surgery in DRC and ongoing country-level efforts to address diagnostic challenges for these often silent tumors will allow us to expect more resections to be performed locally and larger series published.