Ultrastructural and immunohistochemical contribution to the histogenesis of human cardiac myxoma

E. Govoni, B. Severi, G. Cenacchi, R. Laschi, S. Pileri, M. T. Rivano, G. Alampi, A. Branzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The ultrastructural features of 8 human cardiac myxomas were analyzed and correlated with immunohistochemical data, with the aim to clarify the characteristics of the cell lines involved in the tumor genesis. Immunohistochemical studies were performed to detect the presence and the distribution of intracytoplasmic filaments (vimentin, desmin, actin, myosin) as well as myoglobin and factor VIII-related antigen, albumin, and lysozime. Eighty percent of myxoma cells were simultaneously positive for vimentin, desmin, and actin, whereas 30% of them stained with antifactor VIII and antivimentin antibodies. The submicroscopic analysis revealed two main cell populations: (1) one composed of stellate-shaped cells with scanty organelles and sparse hyaloplasmic filaments scattered throughout the myxoid stroma and forming a loose network with their projections; (2) another one included cells with more cytoplasmic organelles, intermediate filaments, and myofilaments arranged either singly or in both solid and hollow cord-like structures. Our results support the hypothesis that cardiac myxoma may originate from a reserve multipotent mesenchymal cell able to differentiate more or less completely along two major evolutional lines: myoid and endothelial. The tumor tissue thus seems to be involved in vessel formation, suggesting a growth pattern akin to that manifested in other forms of endocardial pathological reactivity in which reserve mesenchymal cells are engaged.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-233
Number of pages13
JournalUltrastructural Pathology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1988


  • cardiac myxoma
  • Histogenesis
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Ultrastructure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Structural Biology
  • Instrumentation

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    Govoni, E., Severi, B., Cenacchi, G., Laschi, R., Pileri, S., Rivano, M. T., Alampi, G., & Branzi, A. (1988). Ultrastructural and immunohistochemical contribution to the histogenesis of human cardiac myxoma. Ultrastructural Pathology, 12(2), 221-233. https://doi.org/10.3109/01913128809058220