Author + information
- Received June 6, 2014
- Revision received August 12, 2014
- Accepted August 20, 2014
- Published online December 1, 2014.
- Roy Beigel, MD∗,†,
- Nina C. Wunderlich, MD‡,
- Siew Yen Ho, MD§,
- Reza Arsanjani, MD∗ and
- Robert J. Siegel, MD∗∗ ()
- ∗The Heart Institute, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California
- †The Heart Institute, Sheba Medical Center, and the Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
- ‡Cardiovascular Center Darmstadt, Darmstadt, Germany
- §Cardiac Morphology Unit, Royal Brompton Hospital, London, England
- ↵∗Reprint requests and correspondence:
Dr. Robert J. Siegel, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, 127 South San Vicente Boulevard, Suite A3600, Los Angeles, California 90048.
The left atrial appendage (LAA) is a finger-like extension originating from the main body of the left atrium. Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common clinically important cardiac arrhythmia, occurring in approximately 0.4% to 1% of the general population and increasing with age to >8% in those >80 years of age. In the presence of AF thrombus, formation often occurs within the LAA because of reduced contractility and stasis; thus, attention should be given to the LAA when evaluating and assessing patients with AF to determine the risk for cardioembolic complications. It is clinically important to understand LAA anatomy and function. It is also critical to choose the optimal imaging techniques to identify or exclude LAA thrombi in the setting of AF, before cardioversion, and with current and emerging transcatheter therapies, which include mitral balloon valvuloplasty, pulmonary vein isolation, MitraClip (Abbott Laboratories, Abbott Park, Illinois) valve repair, and the implantation of LAA occlusion and exclusion devices. In this review, we present the current data regarding LAA anatomy, LAA function, and LAA imaging using the currently available noninvasive imaging modalities.
Dr. Siegel is on the Speakers Bureau for Philips Ultrasound and Abbott Laboratories. All other authors have reported that they have no relationships relevant to the contents of this paper to disclose. Drs. Beigel and Wunderlich have contributed equally to this work.
- Received June 6, 2014.
- Revision received August 12, 2014.
- Accepted August 20, 2014.
- American College of Cardiology Foundation