Increased embolic risk in patients with left ventricular thrombi.
Although left ventricular thrombi are associated with an increased embolic risk in the first few weeks after acute myocardial infarction, the long-term risk remains undefined. To ascertain the incidence of strictly defined systemic emboli, we followed 85 patients with echocardiographically documented left ventricular thrombi. At the time of the entry echocardiogram, most patients (n = 57) had remote myocardial infarction, while 19 had recent (less than 1 month) infarction, and nine had idiopathic cardiomyopathy. Because of the difficulty in classifying events as embolic in patients with advanced atherosclerosis, a matched control group of 91 patients without thrombi was also studied. The thrombus and control groups were similar with regard to recent myocardial infarction, remote infarction, anterior infarction, ejection fraction, atrial fibrillation, echocardiographic referral for source of emboli, and warfarin therapy. During a mean follow-up of 22 months after echocardiography, embolic events occurred in 13% (11 of 85) of patients with thrombi compared with 2% (two of 91) control patients (p less than .01). The actuarial probability of being embolus free at 2 years after echocardiography was 86% in patients with thrombi compared with 97% in control patients (p less than .01). All embolic events occurred greater than 1 month after myocardial infarction (range 1 to 96 months). The only clinical or echocardiographic features predictive of embolization were protrusion and mobility of thrombus (both p less than .02). We conclude that the incidence of embolic events is definitely increased in patients with left ventricular thrombi compared with control subjects during long-term follow-up.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
- Copyright © 1987 by American Heart Association