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Case Reports in Pulmonology
Volume 2013, Article ID 945726, 3 pages
Case Report

Compression of the Superior Vena Cava by an Interatrial Septal Lipoma: A Case Report

1Department of Radiology, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin 9, Ireland
2Department of Medical Imaging, Mater Dei Hospital, B'Kara MSD 2090, Malta
3Department of Orthopaedics, Mater Dei Hospital, B'Kara MSD 2090, Malta

Received 2 June 2013; Accepted 10 July 2013

Academic Editors: G. Hillerdal, K. M. Nugent, and K. Watanabe

Copyright © 2013 R. Grech et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Primary cardiac tumours are rare; their prevalence ranges from 0.0017% to 0.28% in various autopsy series. Cardiac lipomas are well-encapsulated benign tumours typically composed of mature fat cells, and their reported size ranges from 1 to 15 cm. They are usually seen in the left ventricle and the right atrium. Lipomas are true neoplasms, as opposed to lipomatous hypertrophy of the interatrial septum, which is a nonencapsulated hyperplastic accumulation of mature and foetal adipose tissue. Cardiac lipomas occur in patients of all ages, and the frequency of occurrence has been found to be equal in both sexes. Patients are usually asymptomatic, although the manifestation of symptoms depends upon both size and location of the tumour. We present the case of a patient with an interatrial septal lipoma, causing obstruction of the superior vena cava.