Background: Spontaneous echocardiographic contrast (SEC) is a frequent finding in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). In this study, we have investigated the frequency and clinical correlates of aortic-SEC (Ao-SEC) in patients with DCM.
Methods: Ninety-two consecutive DCM patients (63 men, 29 women, mean age 60 +/- 11 years) underwent transthoracic and transoesophageal echocardiography.
Results: Ao-SEC was found in 53 patients (58%). It was associated with: (i) a lower cardiac index (P < 0.001); (ii) left atrial-SEC (P < 0.001); (iii) left ventricular-SEC (P = 0.008); (iv) a larger aortic root (P = 0.02); (v) the presence of complex aortic atherosclerotic plaques (P < 0.001).The significant determinant of thromboembolism was left-atrial SEC (P = 0.03).We did not find a significant correlation between Ao-SEC and thromboembolism.
Conclusion: Most of the patients who developed embolic events in the follow-up period had Ao-SEC.Thromboembolism is rather associated with left-atrial SEC than with Ao-SEC.