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Thứ Sáu, 5 tháng 6, 2020

PoCUS for Syncope

Point-of-care ultrasound to complete physical exam and to reach the diagnosis in a young man with syncope



Cardiac syncope can result from an atrial myxoma due to outflow obstruction. Myxoma is the most common primary cardiac tumor that may cause sudden death and the nonspecific symptoms may make early diagnosis difficult.

Case presentation

A 27-year-old man presented to our emergency department after two episodes of syncope and severe fatigue. He had no complaint of fever, weight loss, sweating, chest pain or dyspnea. Vital signs were within normal limits. A loud heart S1 was detected and normal neck veins. Other systemic examinations including neurological assessment were normal. Electrocardiography showed normal sinus rhythm. An obvious variability in heart rate was noticed on cardiac monitor changing by the patient’s position. Point-of-care ultrasonography (PoCUS) showed a large hyperechoic lesion with a well-defined stalk originating from the left atrium (LA). Thus, the patient was transferred to a cardiac surgery center for surgical intervention. Histopathology reported an LA mass compatible with myxoma.


Emergency physicians should be familiar with the vague presentations of cardiac tumors to improve patient outcomes. It is beneficial to take advantage of bedside ultrasound for prompt diagnosis and subsequent treatment.

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