Correlation between quantitative left atrial spontaneous echocardiographic contrast and intact fibrinogen levels in mitral stenosis.
An association between left atrial spontaneous echocardiographic contrast (LASEC) and thromboembolic events has been recognized. However, the appearance of LASEC and the assessment of its intensity are gain dependent. To evaluate the relation between LASEC intensity and coagulation activity, 11 patients with mitral stenosis underwent transesophageal echocardiography with quantitative integrated backscatter assessment of LASEC. Right and left atrial blood samples were evaluated for concentrations of coagulation markers, including intact fibrinogen, fibrinopeptide A, D-dimer, prothrombin fragment 1+2, and thrombin-antithrombin III complex. The patients were found to have significantly higher mean left atrial concentrations compared with right atrial concentrations of thrombin-antithrombin III (28.46 +/- 21.05 versus 3.21 +/- 7.16 ng/mL, respectively; P =.001) and fibrinopeptide A (32.78 +/- 17.54 versus 7.42 +/- 8.27 nmol/L, respectively; P <.001). Intact fibrinogen levels were similar in both atria, and a strong, direct correlation existed between left and right atrial intact fibrinogen levels (r = 0.78, P =.005). Quantitative integrated backscatter of LASEC correlated directly with left atrial fibrinogen level (r = 0.78, P =.013) but not with markers of thrombin generation (thrombin-antithrombin III) or activity (fibrinopeptide A). Our results confirm that patients with mitral stenosis have evidence of a regional hypercoagulable state in the left atrium. However, the intensity of LASEC assessed by quantitative integrated backscatter correlates with both right and left atrial intact fibrinogen level, a systemic marker of coagulation.
Wang, A; Harrison, JK; Bashore, TM; Ryan, T
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