Left ventricular thrombosis: new perspectives on an old problem

Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Pharmacother. 2021 Mar 15;7(2):158-167. doi: 10.1093/ehjcvp/pvaa066.


Left ventricular thrombosis (LVT) is a major risk factor for systemic thromboembolism and might complicate both the acute and the chronic phase of ischaemic heart disease after myocardial infarction and, less frequently, non-ischaemic cardiomyopathies. The pathophysiology of thrombus formation is complex and involves the three aspects of Virchow's triad: blood stasis, prothrombotic state, and tissue injury. Advances in technology have improved the detection rate of intracardiac thrombi, but several uncertainties still remain regarding the optimal treatment strategy within daily clinical practice. Of note, anticoagulation therapy with heparin and vitamin K antagonists decreases the risk of embolic stroke though exposing patients to an undeniable risk of bleeding complications. Although limited data on the off-label use of direct oral anticoagulants have reported safety and efficacy for LVT resolution, yet more evidence is needed to justify their use in clinical practice.

Keywords: Acute myocardial infarction; Anticoagulation therapy; Left ventricular thrombosis.