The left atrial appendage: from embryology to prevention of thromboembolism

Giuseppe Patti, Vittorio Pengo, Rossella Marcucci, Plinio Cirillo, Giulia Renda, Francesca Santilli, Paolo Calabrò, Alberto Ranieri De Caterina, Ilaria Cavallari, Elisabetta Ricottini, Vito Maurizio Parato, Giacomo Zoppellaro, Giuseppe Gioia, Pietro Sedati, Vincenzo Cicchitti, Giovanni Davì, Enrica Golia, Ivana Pariggiano, Paola Simeone, Rosanna AbbateDomenico Prisco, Marco Zimarino, Francesco Sofi, Felicita Andreotti, Raffaele De Caterina, Working Group of Thrombosis of the Italian Society of Cardiology

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The left atrial appendage (LAA) is the main source of thromboembolism in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AF). As such, the LAA can be the target of specific occluding device therapies. Optimal management of patients with AF includes a comprehensive knowledge of the many aspects related to LAA structure and thrombosis. Here we provide baseline notions on the anatomy and function of the LAA, and then focus on current imaging tools for the identification of anatomical varieties. We also describe pathogenetic mechanisms of LAA thrombosis in AF patients, and examine the available evidence on treatment strategies for LAA thrombosis, including the use of non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants and interventional approaches.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Heart Journal
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Apr 26 2016


  • Review
  • Journal Article


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