Calcification of the left atrium in mitral disease

Kempmann, G.; Schaumann, H.J.; Hoppenrath, H.

Rofo Fortschritte auf dem Gebiete der Rontgenstrahlen und der Nuklearmedizin 122(1): 38-42


ISSN/ISBN: 1438-9029
PMID: 122955
DOI: 10.1055/s-0029-1230017
Accession: 068521159

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Calcification in the wall of the left atrium is a certain sign of rheumatic heart disease; in nearly all cases it is associated with combined mitral valve disease and auricular fibrillation. The cause of the calcification is probably repeated attacks of endocarditis. Similar to the cases described in the literature, four out of five our own patients were in the end-stages of chronic rheumatic heart disease. In four patients there was clinical evidence of mitral valve disease, whereas in the fifth patient, the clinical findings suggested a ventricular septal defect. Calcification in the dilated left atrium indicated the presence of an additional mitral valve abnormality. The typical appearances of atrial calcification are illustrated. The importance of its pre-operative demonstration is discussed on the basis of the relevant literature.