Prichard's structures of the fossa ovalis are not histogenetically related to cardiac myxoma

E AceboJ J Gómez-Román


Cardiac myxomas are neoplasms of unknown histogenesis. They are thought to arise from hypothetical subendothelial vasoformative reserve cells or from primitive cells which reside in the fossa ovalis and surrounding endocardium. In 1951 Prichard described a kind of microscopic endocardial structure with a predilection for the interatrial septum, which were suggested to be related to cardiac myxomas. To confirm the existence of Prichard's structures and to clarify their role in the genesis of cardiac myxomas, we examined histologically the fossa ovalis and we performed an immunohistochemical study of the endocardial abnormalities that were found. A prospective histological study of 100 interatrial septa and an immunohistochemical study of three out of the 12 endocardial abnormalities that were detected, as well as of four conventional cardiac myxomas were accomplished. Antibodies were used to vimentin, CD31, CD34, alpha-smooth muscle actin, S100 protein, thrombomodulin, calretinin and c-kit (CD117), a tyrosine kinase growth factor receptor for stem cell factor usually expressed by embryonic/fetal endothelium. Structures similar to the ones described by Prichard were found in 12% of septa, most of them in the left side of the foss...Continue Reading


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