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Abstract #2468

3D Blood flow Characteristic in the Left and Right Atrium in Patients with Atrial Fibrillation

Maria Carr 1 , Yuqing Liu 2 , Jason Ng 3 , James C Carr 1 , Daniel Lee 3 , Jeffrey Goldberger 3 , and Michael Markl 1,2

1 Radiology, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois, United States, 2 Department of Biomedical Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, United States, 3 Division of Cardiology, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois, United States

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common cardiac arrhythmia associated with increased morbidity and mortality.1 Patients with AF are at increased risk of systemic embolism (SE) and stroke, which can cause death, disability, and impaired quality of life.1 It is known that AF is associated with an increased risk of thrombus formation within the left atrial (LA) cavity which is a major contributing factor to embolic stroke in this population. Previous MRI and Doppler echocardiography studies have provided evidence that the increased risk of thrombus formation in the left atrium of AF patients may be related to flow abnormalities and specifically decreased blood flow velocity and thus increased stasis which is thought to promote blood clotting. In this context, previous echocardiography studies found that peak left atrial appendage velocities < 0.2m/s constitute a risk factor for thrombus formation and for stroke2. Moreover, a recent 4D flow MRI study has shown that left atrial 3D hemodynamics was significantly different in patients with AF compared to healthy controls3. In addition, prior reports have demonstrated that rates of pulmonary embolism and right atrial (RA) thrombus formation in AF are an order of magnitude less common than systemic embolism (i.e. LA thrombus formation).

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