Angina and sudden death resulting from papillary fibroelastoma of the aortic valve

David N. Zull*, Merle Diamond, David Beringer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


A 75-year-old woman presented with recurrent severe chest pain radiating to her back. The initial ECG was normal, and clinically an aortic dissection was suspected. The patient became hypotensive during a chest computed tomography scan with infusion, had subsequent repeated cardiac arrests, and died. Autopsy revealed a 1.5-cm polypoid lesion, a papillary fibroelastoma, on the aortic valve, which effectively occluded the ostium of the left coronary artery in a ball-valve effect. In addition, an embolic fragment of the tumor was found in the left anterior descending artery. This is the sixth reported case of angina and/or sudden death resulting from this lesion. Of the 75 cases reported in the literature, most are incidental necropsy findings, although neurologic emboli and outflow tract obstruction have been described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)470-473
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of Emergency Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1985


  • angina, sudden death, aortic valve
  • aortic valve, fibroelastoma, sudden death

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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