Intracardiac thrombosis and anticoagulation therapy in cardiac amyloidosis

Da Li Feng, Imran S. Syed, Matthew Martinez, Jae K. Oh, Allan S. Jaffe, Martha Grogan, William D. Edwards, Morie A. Gertz, Kyle W. Klarich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

121 Scopus citations


Background - Primary amyloidosis has a poor prognosis as a result of frequent cardiac involvement. We recently reported a high prevalence of intracardiac thrombus in cardiac amyloid patients at autopsy. However, neither the prevalence nor the effect of anticoagulation on intracardiac thrombus has been evaluated antemortem. Methods and Results - We studied all transthoracic and transesophageal echocardiograms of cardiac amyloid patients at the Mayo Clinic. The prevalence of intracardiac thrombosis, clinical and transthoracic/transesophageal echocardio-graphic risks for intracardiac thrombosis, and effect of anticoagulation were investigated. We identified 156 patients with cardiac amyloidosis who underwent transesophageal echocardiograms. Amyloidosis was the primary type (AL) in 80; other types occurred in 76 patients, including 56 with the wild transthyretin type, 17 with the mutant transthyretin type, and 3 with the secondary type. Fifth-eight intracardiac thrombi were identified in 42 patients (27%). AL amyloid had more frequent intracardiac thrombus than the other types (35% versus 18%; P=0.02), although the AL patients were younger and had less atrial fibrillation. Multivariate analysis showed that atrial fibrillation, poor left ventricular diastolic function, and lower left atrial appendage emptying velocity were independently associated with increased risk for intracardiac thrombosis, whereas anticoagulation was associated with a significantly decreased risk (odds ratio, 0.09; 95% CI, 0.01 to 0.51; P<0.006). Conclusions - Intracardiac thrombosis occurs frequently in cardiac amyloid patients, especially in the AL type and in those with atrial fibrillation. Risk for thrombosis increased if left ventricular diastolic dysfunction and atrial mechanical dysfunction were present. Anticoagulation therapy appears protective. Timely screening in high-risk patients may allow early detection of intracardiac thrombus. Anticoagulation should be carefully considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2490-2497
Number of pages8
Issue number18
StatePublished - May 12 2009


  • Amyloidosis
  • Anticoagulation
  • Echocardiography
  • Heart failure
  • Thrombosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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