Prothrombotic State in Patients With a Left Atrial Appendage Thrombus of Unknown Origin and Cerebrovascular Events
Background and Purpose—We hypothesized that formation of left atrial appendage (LAA) thrombi of unknown origin is associated with altered fibrin clot properties and blood hypercoagulability.
Methods—In a case–control study, we investigated 32 patients with a history of LAA thrombus after successful anticoagulant treatment versus 32 control subjects matched for age, sex, and diabetes mellitus. All subjects had previous ischemic stroke, transient ischemic attack, or migraine associated with patent foramen ovale. Patients with documented atrial fibrillation were excluded. We determined plasma fibrin clot permeability, fibrinolytic efficiency, thrombin generation, platelet and endothelial markers. Stroke or transient ischemic attack were assessed during a median follow-up of 74 (range 19–98) months.
Results—Compared with controls, patients with LAA thrombus more frequently were smokers (43.8% versus 18.8%) and had 20% prolonged clot lysis time, lower plasminogen (−14%), and higher plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (+17%), thrombin–antithrombin complexes (+17%), CD40 ligand (+30%), P-selectin (+29%), and von Willebrand factor (+30%, all P<0.05). Occurrence of LAA thrombus was predicted by von Willebrand factor (β=0.038, P=0.004), plasminogen (β=−0.048, P=0.01), plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (β=−0.161, P=0.03), and clot permeability (β=−1.076, P=0.03). During follow-up, cerebrovascular events occurred in 10 (33.33%) of the 30 available patients in the LAA thrombus group, including 7 (23.3%) with recurrent LAA thrombus and 4 (13.33%) with documented atrial fibrillation. Recurrent LAA thrombus was associated with lower baseline Ks and higher thrombin generation, fibrinogen, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1, and soluble CD40 ligand (all P<0.05).
Conclusions—Prothrombotic blood alterations could be involved in the LAA thrombus formation in patients without documented atrial fibrillation and are associated with increased risk of stroke or transient ischemic attack during follow-up.
- Received January 21, 2016.
- Revision received April 27, 2016.
- Accepted May 19, 2016.
- © 2016 American Heart Association, Inc.