Clinical significance and prevalence of valvular strands during routine echo examinations

Marina Leitman*, Vladimir Tyomkin, Eli Peleg, Ruthie Shmueli, Ricardo Krakover, Zvi Vered

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims Lambl's excrescences (valvular strands) have been associated with an increased embolic risk. In previous studies, valvular strands have mostly been detected by transoesophageal echo (TEE). The current high-resolution echo systems allow better detection of valvular strands often even by transthoracic echocardiography (TTE).We attempted to determine the incidence of valvular strands during routine echo exams, TTE and/or TEE, and their relation to the cardiovascular risk factor, co-morbidities, and outcome. Methods and results Over 21 000 echo exams were performed at our hospital during 2008-12 and were searched for reporting of valvular strands. One hundred and fifty such studies were identified and the presence of valvular strands was confirmed. These patients were then evaluated for clinical characteristics, co-morbidities, and outcome, and compared with 150 age-and gender-matched patients without valvular strands. Incidence of valvular strands was maximal at age 61-70 (0.94%), and theywere found more commonly inmenthan in women, 92 vs. 58, P < 0.00001. Valvular strands occurred moreoften on the aortic than on the mitral valve, 125 vs. 36, respectively, P < 0.00001, were more often associated with thickened or calcified aortic or mitral valve, and occupied the ventricular side of the aortic valve and the atrial side of the mitral valve, P < 0.00001. Embolic events occurred in 40 of the 150 patients with strands (27%). Valvular strandswere not associated with increased mortality. Conclusion Valvular strands (Lambl's excrescences) appear not to affect life expectancy, but are often associated with embolic/cerebrovascular events, are more common in older patients, in men than in women, and are more commonly located on the aortic than on the mitral valve. Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1226-1230
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Heart Journal Cardiovascular Imaging
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2014


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