Echocardiography in diagnostic assessment of peripheral arterial embolization

Yaron Bar-El, Raphael Adar, Yaakov Schneiderman, Michael Motro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In an attempt to identify a cardiac source of emboli, two-dimensional echocardiography was performed postoperatively in 42 consecutive patients with acute peripheral arterial embolism requiring urgent embolectomy. The patients were divided into four groups. Group 1 included 14 patients with chronic atrial fibrillation, among whom four cases of intracavitary thrombi were detected. Group 2 included 13 patients with acute or previous myocardial infarction, and left ventricular thrombi were detected in three. Group 3 included one patient with a prosthetic mechanical aortic valve and one with mitral valve prolapse; thrombi were not detected in either. Group 4 comprised 13 patients with no clinical evidence of a cardiac source of embolism; in one of them a large left ventricular thrombus was detected. Altogether eight intracavitary thrombi were detected (19%), and only in three (7.1%) were the results of echocardiographic examinations defined as entirely normal. A number of clinically undetected cardiac lesions, such as mitral annular calcification and aortic valve calcification, possibly associated with peripheral arterial embolism, were also detected by postoperative echocardiography. Because of the high percentage of intracavitary thrombi detected and the therapeutic implications thereof, especially if embolism recurred, it is concluded that two-dimensional echocardiographic examination should be recommended for patients with acute peripheral embolism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1090-1094
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Heart Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1990


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