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.