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Use of microbubble contrast in the diagnosis of a left ventricular papillary fibroelastoma


A papillary fibroelastoma is a rare, avascular, cardiac tumour that is often found incidentally using transthoracic echocardiography (TTE). Peripheral i.v. injection of a microbubble contrast agent is often used to characterize abnormal masses within the heart allowing further delineation of physical features, the area of attachment, and vascularity of the mass in order to differentiate the growth from a tumour or a thrombus. This case highlights a potential pitfall when assessing a cardiac tumour’s vascularity using contrast TTE. A cardiac mass was identified on a TTE of a 53-year-old man and was further investigated with microbubble contrast-enhanced TTE. Contrast TTE imaging suggested a vascularized structure in the left ventricle. However, after histological examination the tumour was found to be entirely avascular.


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Correspondence to Jenny Duke BSc MBBS.

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Duke, J., Greaves, K. & Dettrick, A. Use of microbubble contrast in the diagnosis of a left ventricular papillary fibroelastoma. Echo Res Pract 2, K43–K45 (2015).

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