Fate of left ventricular thrombi in patients with remote myocardial infarction or idiopathic cardiomyopathy.
Although left ventricular thrombi that form acutely after myocardial infarction frequently resolve spontaneously or with anticoagulant therapy, the fate of left ventricular thrombi in patients with remote myocardial infarction or with idiopathic cardiomyopathy remains unknown. To determine the natural history of such chronic left ventricular thrombi, we performed serial echocardiograms on 51 patients with remote myocardial infarction (greater than or equal to 3 months; mean, 31 +/- 41 months) and on nine patients with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy. Mean follow-up was 24 +/- 22 months during which 3.5 +/- 1.4 echocardiograms were obtained. Studies were interpreted by blinded observers, and an increase or decrease of more than 5 mm in maximal thrombus thickness was defined as significant. Among all 60 patients left ventricular thrombi were unchanged in 24 (40%), completely resolved in 24 (40%), decreased in size in four (7%), increased in size in five (8%), and decreased and then increased in size in three (5%). Results in patients with remote infarction and idiopathic cardiomyopathy were similar. Warfarin therapy, which was at the discretion of the primary physician, was associated with a higher prevalence of thrombus resolution compared with no therapy (59% vs. 29%, p = 0.02). Definite systemic emboli occurred in seven patients (12%), all at times while they were not anticoagulated. Among the 48 thrombi that were present on two or more echocardiograms, changes in thrombus shape (classified as protruding or flat) occurred in only 16%, and changes in thrombus movement (classified as mobile or immobile) occurred in only 10%.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
- Copyright © 1988 by American Heart Association