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Epithelial cyst of the cardiac papillary muscle: case report and review of the literature


Background: Reports of endodermal heterotopia (previously known as inclusion cysts) in cardiac atria are rare and there is only a single previous case report of endodermal heterotopia in a cardiac papillary muscle.

Aim and methods: A cyst in a cardiac papillary muscle was identified during the autopsy of an 87-year-old man who had died from an unrelated myocardial infarction. The cyst was examined histologically and mucin staining and immunostaining were carried out.

Results: We report a unilocular cyst in a cardiac papillary muscle, which is lined by low cuboidal, pseudostratified and occasionally ciliated respiratory-type epithelium, surrounded by a layer of smooth muscle. The immunohistochemical features (MNF116+, cytokeratin (CK)7+, CK8+, CK18+, CK19+, epithelial membrane antigen positive, scattered cells positive for neuroendocrine markers) suggest that this is an endodermal heterotopia. Immunostaining of positive thyroid transcription factor-1 provides evidence for bronchogenic differentiation.

Discussion: The differential diagnoses of cystic structures in cardiac papillary muscle and the origin and importance of endodermal heterotopias are discussed.

  • TTF, thyroid transcription factor

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