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A previously healthy 76-year-old woman presented with an acute onset of shortness of breath due to acute pulmonary oedema. A transthoracic echocardiogram showed a large mobile mass attached to the inter-atrial septum occupying the whole of the left atrium. She was totally asymptomatic prior to this presentation. She was transferred to a tertiary cardiothoracic unit and had it surgically removed. Histology confirmed a benign atrial myxoma. Her symptoms resolved spontaneously without the need for further medication. This highlights the importance of echocardiography for patients of any age who present to hospital with a first episode of pulmonary oedema. This report also emphasises the fact that all patients, including the elderly, should be immediately referred for surgery because of its good prognosis.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur J Intern Med

Publication Date





206 - 209