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      Integrated Backscatter for Quantification and Risk Stratification of Blood Stagnation in Left Atrial Appendages of Patients with Rheumatic Mitral Stenosis

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          This study was designed to quantify the blood stagnation in left atrial appendages (LAA) of patients with rheumatic mitral stenosis, and to stratify the risk of spontaneous echo contrast (SEC) for thrombus formation. A total of 45 patients were enrolled in this study. Thirty of the 45 patients had rheumatic mitral stenosis. All the above patients were evaluated for LAA contractility by transesophageal echocardiography. Acoustic density of the stagnant blood was assessed using the integrated backscatter (IBS) mode. Multivariate linear regression analysis showed that the significant independent variables determining relative IBS in LAA were the mitral valve area (p = 0.02) and the atrial fibrillation rhythm (p = 0.0003). In patients with mitral stenosis, the IBS in LAA correlated well with the presence of thrombus (p = 0.004) and SEC (p = 0.002). Using the relative IBS in LAA with 6.8 dB as the cutoff value, the diagnostic sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value and accuracy of SEC formation in LAA was 83, 86, 95, 60 and 83%, respectively. Using the relative IBS in LAA with 10.0 dB as the cutoff value, the diagnostic sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value and accuracy of SEC with thrombus formation in LAA was 80, 80, 67, 89 and 80%, respectively. In conclusion, the blood stasis in LAA can be objectively quantified using IBS. Utilizing different cutoff values, the acoustic densitometry in LAA enables identification of stagnant blood which represents a risk for the development of either SEC only or SEC with thrombus formation.

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          Early assessment by transesophageal echocardiography of left atrial appendage function after percutaneous mitral commissurotomy.

          Thirty-seven consecutively admitted patients with severe mitral stenosis underwent percutaneous mitral commissurotomy with a transthoracic and biplane or multiplane transesophageal echocardiographic examination before and between 24 and 48 hours after percutaneous mitral commissurotomy. Thirty patients (81%) were in sinus rhythm and 7 were in atrial fibrillation. Left atrial appendage (LAA) function was evaluated in both the transverse and the longitudinal planes by planimetry and pulsed Doppler echocardiographic interrogation at the LAA outlet. Percutaneous mitral commissurotomy resulted in a twofold increase in mitral valve area, and no severe mitral regurgitation occurred. With use of the planimetry method, there was no significant improvement in LAA ejection fraction, except in the transverse plane for patients in sinus rhythm (p = 0.03). With use of Doppler method, 3 distinct flow patterns were observed before the procedure: a "sinus pattern" in patients in sinus rhythm, and a "fibrillatory pattern" (n = 3) or a "no-flow pattern" (n = 4) in patients in atrial fibrillation. After commissurotomy, there was a marked increase in LAA peak Doppler velocity (+62%) and in LAA velocity time integral (+31%). Of the 4 patients in atrial fibrillation with a no-flow pattern, 2 had recovery of a typical effective fibrillatory flow pattern after the procedure. The increase in peak Doppler velocity after commissurotomy was related to the decrease or regression in left atrial spontaneous echo contrast, and correlated with the increase in mitral valve area, the decrease in tranmitral pressure gradient, and the increase in cardiac index; improvement in valve function after successful percutaneous mitral commissurotomy is associated with early improvement in LAA function.

            Author and article information

            S. Karger AG
            June 2000
            04 July 2000
            : 93
            : 1-2
            : 113-120
            Department of Internal Medicine (Cardiology), National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
            7011 Cardiology 2000;93:113–120
            © 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel

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            Page count
            Figures: 4, Tables: 3, References: 21, Pages: 8
            Noninvasive and Diagnostic Cardiology


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