Fulminant brain necrosis from atrial myxoma showers

William T. Browne, Eelco F.M. Wijdicks, Joseph E. Parisi, Robert W. Viggiano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Background: Atrial myxoma is uncommon and may be associated with brief isolated ischemic events. We describe a patient with atrial myxoma and an incompletely evaluated ischemic stroke followed 1 year later with almost complete brain necrosis. Summary of Report: A 63-year-old woman presented with a rapidly progressive illness resulting in coma within 24 hours from multiple myxomatous emboli. Cranial computed tomographic scan demonstrated multiple hypodensities in both cerebellar and cerebral hemispheres. Postmortem examination revealed virtually complete brain necrosis, multiple peripheral artery embolizations, embolization in the coronary arteries with acute myocardial infarction, and tumor emboli in the spleen and kidneys. Conclusions: Although uncommon, atrial myxoma may present as a fatal multiple organ embolization that includes both anterior and posterior circulation territories of the brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1090-1092
Number of pages3
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1993


  • Cerebral infarction
  • Myxoma
  • Tomography, x-ray computed


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