Cardiac Muscle Tumor in Cats

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Rhabdomyoma in Cats

A rhabdomyoma is an extremely rare, benign, non-spreading, cardiac muscle tumor that occurs only half as often as its malignant version: rhabdomyosarcomas, an invasive, metastasizing (spreading) tumor.

Rhabdomyomas are usually found in the heart, and are suspected of being congenital in origin (present at birth). This type of tumor does not become malignant, nor does it metastasize through the body. They are very rarely found outside of the heart, but do occur in other places of the body on occasion. They have been reported in the ears of cats.

Rhabdomyomas can affect both cats and dogs. If you would like to learn more about how this disease affects dogs please visit this page in the PetMD pet health library.

Symptoms and Types

  • Rhabdomyoma in the heart:
  • Rhabdomyoma outside the heart:
    • Localized swelling

Causes

Idiopathic (unknown).

Diagnosis

You will need to provide a thorough history of your cat's health leading up to the onset of symptoms. From there, your veterinarian will perform a complete physical exam on your pet, with a blood chemical profile, a complete blood count, a urinalysis, and an electrolyte panel. Your veterinarian will use the results of the bloodwork to confirm, or rule out, other diseases. Bloodwork will typically appear normal in patients with a rhabdomyoma, since the tumor is relatively harmless.

X-ray imaging, and an echocardiogram of the heart may help your veterinarian to diagnose a rhabdomyoma. Additional examination using an electrocardiogram will note heart arrhythmias (rhythm abnormalities). For a definitive diagnosis, an examination of tissue from the tumor (biopsy) can be performed.

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metastasize

The occurrence or invasion of pathogens away from the point where they originally occurred

urinalysis

An in-depth examination of the properties of urine; used to determine the presence or absence of illness

malignant

Something that becomes worse or life threatening as it spreads

electrocardiogram

A record of the activity of the myocardium

biopsy

The process of removing tissue to examine it, usually for medical reasons.

benign

Not being able to cause harm; the opposite of malignant.

Courtesy of petmd.com Original Article

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