Severely reduced left atrial appendage function: A cause of embolic stroke in patients in sinus rhythm?

M. Kamalesh, T. B. Copeland, S. Sawada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Scopus citations


Recently, attention has been focused on transesophageal echocardiographic detection of left atrial appendage function to assess of risk of thrombus formation because of potential benefit of anticoagulation therapy. However, most of these studies have been conducted in patients with atrial fibrillation or mitral valve disease. In this article we review cases of 2 patients without valvular disease who had embolic stroke in sinus rhythm. Transesophageal echocardiography revealed thrombi in the left atrial appendage in both patients. The left atrial appendage function in these patients was compared with that in patients with chronic atrial fibrillation and a control group in sinus rhythm. Left atrial appendage function in the patients with stroke and sinus rhythm was significantly lower than that of patients in the control group in sinus rhythm (P < .001) and was similar to the appendage function in patients with chronic atrial fibrillation. These observations provide further evidence that the finding of reduced left atrial appendage function can be a cause of stroke in patients with sinus rhythm even in the absence of mitral valve disease. Reduced left atrial appendage function may identify patients with unexplained stroke who should receive anticoagulation therapy even in the absence of detectable appendage thrombi.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)902-904
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of the American Society of Echocardiography
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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