Coronary angiographic finding of thrombus in the left atrial appendage

Acta Radiol. 1996 Sep;37(5):749-53. doi: 10.1177/02841851960373P264.


Purpose: The value of coronary angiography in the diagnosis of thrombus in the left atrial appendage (LAA) was retrospectively analyzed.

Material and methods: The study covers 34 patients in whom coronary angiography showed coronary neovascularity in LAA with coronary artery-left atrial fistula indicating LAA thrombus. All 34 patients underwent transthoracic echocardiography within one week of coronary angiography. Open-heart surgery was undertaken 2-31 months after angiography in 28 patients.

Results: Coronary neovascularity and coronary artery-left atrial fistula arose from the left circumflex artery in 28 patients, and from the left circumflex artery and the right coronary artery in the remaining 6 patients. By echocardiography, LAA thrombus was detected in only one of the 34 patients. In 18 of the 28 patients who underwent open-heart surgery, LAA thrombus was found at surgery to have resolved.

Conclusion: Coronary angiography is useful in the diagnosis of LAA thrombus, and coronary neovascularity and fistula formation may indicate that the thrombus can spontaneously resolve.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Coronary Angiography*
  • Coronary Disease / complications
  • Coronary Disease / diagnostic imaging
  • Female
  • Fistula / complications
  • Fistula / diagnostic imaging
  • Heart Atria / diagnostic imaging
  • Heart Diseases / complications
  • Heart Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mitral Valve Stenosis / complications
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Thrombosis / complications
  • Thrombosis / diagnostic imaging*