Background and Purpose:Clinical significance of out-pouching structures of the left atrium (LA) as potential embolic sources remains unclear. We sought to evaluate the association between stroke and LA out-pouching structures.Methods:A case-control study was conducted to assess the prevalence of LA out-pouching structures in subjects with and without stroke. Case subjects were 270 stroke patients who had undergone cardiac CT. Control subjects were 270 age- and sex-matched patients without a history of stroke and who had undergone cardiac CT. Presence of LA out-pouching structures was determined by ECG-gated cardiac CT. The location of out-pouching structures was categorized as near Bachmann bundle, anterior, inferoseptal, inferior, and lateral. The prevalence, number and location of out-pouching structures and clinical characteristics were compared between the two groups.Results:One hundred sixty eight out-pouching structures were identified in 139 stroke patients (51%), while a total of 169 out-pouching structures were found in 155 control patients (57%) (p=0.1949). The prevalence of LA out-pouching structures with different locations was not significantly different between the stroke group and control group. In the stroke group, the prevalence of out-pouching structures was not significantly different by subtypes of ischemic stroke and the prevalence of LA out-pouching structures was not different between patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) and without AF.Conclusion:The left atrial out-pouching structures are commonly seen in a population with and without stroke with similar prevalence. Our study suggests that LA out-pouching structures are not significant risk factors of stroke.
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