Dual-enhancement cardiac computed tomography for assessing left atrial thrombus and pulmonary veins before radiofrequency catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation

Jin Hur, Hui Nam Pak, Young Jin Kim, Hye Jeong Lee, Hyuk Jae Chang, Yoo Jin Hong, Byoung Wook Choi

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26 Citations (Scopus)


Noninvasive imaging that provides anatomic information while excluding intracardiac thrombus would be of significant clinical value for patients referred for catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation (AF). This study assessed the diagnostic performance of a dual-enhancement single-phase cardiac computed tomography (CT) protocol for thrombus and circulatory stasis detection in AF patients before catheter ablation. We studied 101 consecutive symptomatic AF patients (71 men and 30 women; mean age, 61.8 years) who were scheduled to have catheter ablation. All patients had undergone pre-AF ablation CT imaging and transesophageal echocardiography on the same day. CT was performed with prospective electrocardiographic gating, and scanning began 180 seconds after the test bolus. Mean left atrial appendage (LAA)/ascending aorta Hounsfield unit (HU) ratios were measured on CT images. Among the 101 patients, 9 thrombi and 18 spontaneous echo contrasts were detected by transesophageal echocardiography. The overall sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of CT for the detection of thrombi in the LAA were 89%, 100%, 100%, and 99%, respectively. The mean LAA/ascending aorta HU ratios were significantly different between thrombus and circulatory stasis (0.17 vs 0.33, p = 0.002). Dual-enhancement single-scan cardiac CT is a sensitive modality for detecting and differentiating LAA thrombus and circulatory stasis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-244
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jul 15


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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