[Contribution of transesophageal echocardiography in the diagnosis of intra- and para-cardiac masses]

Arch Mal Coeur Vaiss. 1993 Mar;86(3):331-8.
[Article in French]


The authors detected 59 thrombi and 7 intra- or paracardiac tumors in 58 patients in a series of 1,100 transesophageal echocardiography. Twenty-six of the 51 patients with a thrombus were in sinus rhythm; 25 had atrial fibrillation. In 44 cases, the thrombus was single and in 7 cases there were multiple thrombi. A phenomenon of spontaneous contrast in the left atrium was observed in 24 patients (47%). In 31 cases (53%) the thrombi were located in the left auricle, in 21 cases (36%) in the left atrium, in 4 cases in the left ventricle and in 3 cases in the right atrium. Transthoracic echocardiography only detected 25% of these thrombi. The superiority of transesophageal echocardiography was particularly evident for the detection of thrombi in the left auricle (31 by transesophageal echocardiography versus 2 by transthoracic echocardiography) and in the left atrium (13 by transesophageal echocardiography versus 7 by transthoracic echocardiography). Five myxomas were diagnosed by transesophageal echocardiography and 4 of them were identified by transthoracic echocardiography. The site of implantation of the tumor was located in all 5 cases by transesophageal echocardiography. Two right paracardiac tumours were only visible by transesophageal echocardiography. Transesophageal echocardiography is therefore very useful in the diagnosis of thrombi in the left atrium and auricle, of rare hypodense myxomas and paracardiac tumors. In addition, it enables precise localisation of the site of implantation of nearly all intracardiac tumors.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Echocardiography / methods*
  • Esophagus
  • Female
  • Heart Atria
  • Heart Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Heart Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myxoma / diagnostic imaging
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Thrombosis / diagnostic imaging*