Intracardiac Echocardiography for Detection of Thrombus in the Left Atrial AppendageClinical Perspective
Comparison With Transesophageal Echocardiography in Patients Undergoing Ablation for Atrial Fibrillation: The Action-Ice I Study
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Background—Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) is the gold standard for the exclusion of thrombi in the left atrial appendage (LAA) before ablation for atrial fibrillation. Intracardiac echocardiography (ICE) is used to assist atrial fibrillation ablation; however, it can also be used for LAA imaging. The aim of our study was to determine whether ICE could replace TEE and to identify the optimal ICE placement for LAA visualization.
Methods and Results—Seventy-six consecutive patients (56 men; mean age, 55±9.6 years) scheduled for atrial fibrillation ablation underwent TEE before the procedure and LAA assessment by ICE. An 8F AcuNav probe was introduced into right atrium, pulmonary artery, and coronary sinus. LAA structure was analyzed by the echocardiographer and electrophysiologist who were blinded to the results of TEE. ICE probe was positioned in the right atrium in all patients, in the pulmonary artery in 64 of 74 (86%) patients, and in the coronary sinus in 49 of 74 (66%) patients. The LAA was properly visualized in 56 of 64 (87.5%) patients from the pulmonary artery versus 13 of 49 (26%) patients from the coronary sinus (P<0.001). From the right atrium, the whole LAA cavity could not be seen in any patient. In those patients in whom LAA was visualized properly by ICE, a perfect agreement between ICE and TEE was obtained (both techniques detected LAA thrombus in 2 patients and excluded LAA thrombus in the remaining patients).
Conclusions—ICE can be used safely and effectively for the evaluation of LAA in patients undergoing atrial fibrillation ablation. ICE imaging from pulmonary artery is accurate for LAA visualization.
- Received April 4, 2013.
- Accepted October 29, 2013.
- © 2013 American Heart Association, Inc.