Echocardiographic appearance of the Chiari network: differentiation from right-heart pathology.
As echocardiography is being used more often, its value and accuracy are becoming more fully appreciated. Coincident with wider application of this imaging technique is the potential for identifying normal anatomic variants and their possible erroneous interpretation as pathologic states. In this report we describe the M-mode and two-dimensional echocardiographic features of a congenital remnant known as the Chiari network. This structure can present as a highly mobile, highly reflectant echo target that can be seen in several locations in the right atrium. We report here an index case that could be well examined echocardiographically and that was a cause of considerable concern due to the presence of congestive heart failure and a history of staphylococcal endocarditis. The presence of the Chiari network was confirmed pathologically. Subsequently, we found similar echocardiographic findings in 19 of 1248 patients (1.5%) studied in our laboratory. This congenital remnant, which is found pathologically in 2-3% of normal hearts, could be confused with valve disruption, vegetation or other mass lesion, particularly when associated with a suggestive clinical situation.
- Copyright © 1981 by American Heart Association