Left Ventricular Thrombus Following Acute Myocardial Infarction: JACC State-of-the-Art Review

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2022 Mar 15;79(10):1010-1022. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2022.01.011.


The incidence of left ventricular (LV) thrombus following acute myocardial infarction has markedly declined in recent decades caused by advancements in reperfusion and antithrombotic therapies. Despite this, embolic events remain the most feared complication of LV thrombus necessitating systemic anticoagulation. Mechanistically, LV thrombus development depends on Virchow's triad (ie, endothelial injury from myocardial infarction, blood stasis from LV dysfunction, and hypercoagulability triggered by inflammation, with each of these elements representing potential therapeutic targets). Diagnostic modalities include transthoracic echocardiography with or without ultrasound-enhancing agents and cardiac magnetic resonance. Most LV thrombi develop within the first 2 weeks post-acute myocardial infarction, and the role of surveillance imaging appears limited. Vitamin K antagonists remain the mainstay of therapy because the efficacy of direct oral anticoagulants is less well established. Only meager data support the routine use of prophylactic anticoagulation, even in high-risk patients.

Keywords: acute myocardial infarction; anticoagulation; left ventricular thrombus.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use
  • Fibrinolytic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Myocardial Infarction* / epidemiology
  • Thrombosis* / prevention & control
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left* / complications


  • Anticoagulants
  • Fibrinolytic Agents