Dilated cardiomyopathy, spontaneous echo contrast in the aorta and embolic events

Acta Cardiol. 2010 Feb;65(1):9-14. doi: 10.2143/AC.65.1.2045883.


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.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aortic Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Aortic Diseases / etiology*
  • Cardiomyopathy, Dilated / diagnostic imaging*
  • Cardiomyopathy, Dilated / physiopathology
  • Contrast Media / adverse effects*
  • Echocardiography / adverse effects*
  • Echocardiography / methods
  • Embolism / diagnostic imaging
  • Embolism / etiology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Stroke Volume / physiology
  • Time Factors


  • Contrast Media