Left Atrial Calcification
Review of Literature and Proposed Management
Calcification of the left atrial wall or appendage or both constitutes a major complication and risk to mitral valve surgery due to difficulty in entering the left atrium, potential embolization, and impaired hemostasis. This condition can be diagnosed preoperatively by a variety of radiological techniques. Surgery must be tailored to the individual patient and in the patient with isolated, noncalcific mitral stenosis with complicating pulmonary hypertension is probably best carried out as a closed procedure recognizing the attendant hazards. For the patient without pulmonary hypertension or with mixed or combined lesions, an approach through a right thoracotomy or median sternotomy and open valvuloplasty through the posterior interatrial groove or atrial septum seems preferable. The high incidence of embolism, systemic or pulmonary, renders such patients suitable candidates for long term anticoagulation treatment.
- © 1966 American Heart Association, Inc.