Evaluation of the left atrial appendage with real-time 3-dimensional transesophageal echocardiography implications for catheter-based left atrial appendage closure

Gaetano Nucifora, Francesco F. Faletra, François Regoli, Elena Pasotti, Giovanni Pedrazzini, Tiziano Moccetti, Angelo Auricchio

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129 Citations (Scopus)


Background-Precise knowledge of left atrial appendage (LAA) orifice size is crucial for correct sizing of LAA closure devices. The aim of the present study was to determine the performance of real-time 3D transesophageal echocardiography (RT3DTEE) for LAA orifice size assessment, compared with 2D transesophageal echocardiography (2DTEE), and to investigate the impact of atrial fibrillation (AF) on LAA orifice size. Methods and Results-One hundred thirty-seven patients (38 control subjects, 31 with paroxysmal AF, 38 with persistent AF and 30 with permanent AF) underwent 2DTEE and RT3DTEE. Both techniques were used to measure LAA orifice area. Clinically-indicated 64-slice computed tomography (CT) was used as reference technique in 46 patients. Two-dimensional TEE underestimated LAA orifice area, compared with RT3DTEE (1.99±0.94 cm2 versus 3.05±1.27 cm2; P<0.001). RT3DTEE showed higher correlation with CT for the assessment of LAA orifice area, compared with 2DTEE (r=0.92; 95% confidence interval, 0.85 to 0.95, versus r=0.72; 95% confidence interval, 0.54 to 0.83, respectively). At Bland-Altman analysis, RT3DTEE and 2DTEE underestimated LAA orifice area, compared with CT. However, RT3DTEE showed smaller bias (0.07 cm2 versus 0.72 cm2) and narrower limits of agreement (-0.71 to 0.85 cm2 versus -0.58 to 2.02 cm2) with CT, compared with 2DTEE. Among AF patients, a progressive increase in RT3DTEE-derived LAA orifice area was observed with increasing frequency of AF (P<0.001). At multivariate analysis, AF and left atrial volume index (P<0.001 for both) were independently associated with RT3DTEE-derived LAA orifice area. Conclusions-RT3DTEE is more accurate than 2DTEE for the assessment of LAA orifice size. A progressive increase in LAA orifice area is observed with increasing frequency of AF.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)514-523
Number of pages10
JournalCirculation: Cardiovascular Imaging
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2011


  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Left atrial appendage
  • Real-time three-dimensional transesophageal echocardiography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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