Cardiovascular Imaging in Thrombo-Embolic Risk Stratification for Atrial Fibrillation: Recent Patents and Current Practice
Federico Nardi, Alessandro Lupi, Andrea Rognoni, Paolo Colonna, Ennio Michelotto, Daniele Andreini, Gian Carlo Casolo, Lucia Barbieri, Ettore Cassetti, Alon Schaffer, Maurizio Lazzero and Angelo Sante BongoAffiliation:
II Level Echocardiography Service, Cardiology Division, Hospital Castelli, Verbania, Italy.
AbstractMany cardiac disease, like supra-ventricular arrhythmias, myocardial infarction, left ventricular remodelling with aneurysms and valvular disease like mitral valve stenosis, infective endocarditis and prosthetic heart valves predispose to generation of intracardiac thrombi, which are the main source for peripheral embolism. Often the main unifying risk factor for cardioembolism is atrial fibrillation and many of these cardio-embolic complications are transient ischemic cerebrovascular attacks or strokes with various grades of residual compromise. Cardiac imaging with different techniques and modalities has the potential for effectively stratify thrombo-embolic risk in patients with atrial fibrillation and other cardiac comorbidities. In this review we tried to summarize with a broad approach the current clinical role of different cardiac imaging methods, specifically echocardiography, cardiac computed tomography and cardiovascular magnetic resonance, in identifying cardio-embolic risk factors and in guiding antithrombotic therapy. This article presents the current status in the technical background of various techniques, in particular nuclear tomographic and magnetic resonance imaging, in the areas of clinical practice, and focuses on future developments of related patent forms.
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