OBJECTIVES: To characterize the incidence, outcomes, and predictors of left ventricular (LV) thrombus by using sequential cardiac magnetic resonance (MR) imaging after ST-segment-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI).
METHODS: Written informed consent was obtained from all patients, and the study protocol was approved by the committee on human research. In a cohort of 772 patients with STEMI, 392 (mean age, 58 years; range, 24-89 years) were retrospectively selected who were studied with cardiac MR imaging at 1 week and 6 months. Cardiac MR imaging guided the initiation and withdrawal of anticoagulants. Patients with LV thrombus at 6 months were restudied at 1 year. For predicting the occurrence of LV thrombus, a multiple regression model was applied.
RESULTS: LV thrombus was detected in 27 of 392 patients (7%): 18 (5%) at 1 week and nine (2%) at 6 months. LV thrombus resolved in 22 of 25 patients (88%) restudied within the first year. During a mean follow-up of 181 weeks Â± 168, patients with LV thrombus displayed a very low rate of stroke (0%), peripheral embolism (0%), and severe hemorrhage (n = 1, 3.7%). LV ejection fraction (LVEF) less than 50% (P < .001) and anterior infarction (P = .008) independently helped predict LV thrombus. The incidence of LV thrombus was as follows: (a) nonanterior infarction, LVEF 50% or greater (one of 135, 1%); (b) nonanterior infarction, LVEF less than 50% (one of 50, 2%); (c) anterior infarction, LVEF 50% or greater (two of 92, 2%); and (d) anterior infarction, LVEF less than 50% (23 of 115, 20%) (P < .001 for the trend).
CONCLUSIONS: Cardiac MR imaging contributes information for the diagnosis and therapy of LV thrombus after STEMI. Patients with simultaneous anterior infarction and LVEF less than 50% are at highest risk.