Cardiac melanoma metastases as a cause of sudden cardiac death

  • Leon D. Kaulen
  • Franziska Tietz
  • Tanja Gradistanac
  • Holger Thiele
  • Karl-Philipp RommelEmail author
Letter to the Editors


Secondary, metastatic cardiac tumors are defined as spread of distant tumor cells to any structure of the heart including peri-, epi-, myo- and endocardium as well as coronary vessels [1, 2, 3]. While these masses are rarely found ante mortem, they are identified in 0.7–3.5% of autopsies [3]. The vast majority of them remains clinically silent [1, 2, 3]. We present a case of cardiac melanoma as a rare cause of sudden cardiac death.

A man in his 80s with a past medical history of hypertension collapsed while having breakfast with his wife, who immediately initiated cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and called emergency medical services (EMS). Upon EMS arrival after 15 min, his Glasgow Coma Scale was 3 and initial electrocardiography revealed asystole. Under continuous CPR, the patient was transferred to our institution. Upon arrival, after a total of 1 h of CPR (15 min bystander, 35 min EMS, 10 min intrahospital) and persisting asystole, arterial blood gas testing revealed a...


Author contributions

LDK: concept and design, analysis and interpretation of data, drafting and revision of manuscript. FT: interpretation of data and revision of manuscript. TG: autopsy and pathology images and revision of manuscript. HT: interpretation of data and revision of manuscript. K-PR: concept and design, drafting and revision of manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Leon D. Kaulen: reports no disclosures. Franziska Tietz: reports no disclosures. Tanja Gradistanac: reports no disclosures. Holger Thiele: reports no disclosures. Karl-Philipp Rommel: reports no disclosures.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leon D. Kaulen
    • 1
  • Franziska Tietz
    • 1
  • Tanja Gradistanac
    • 2
  • Holger Thiele
    • 1
  • Karl-Philipp Rommel
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of CardiologyHeart Center Leipzig at University of LeipzigLeipzigGermany
  2. 2.Institute of PathologyUniversity Hospital LeipzigLeipzigGermany

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