Atrial infarction has been a relatively understudied entity. Its incidence by autopsy study has been widely variable, from 0.7% to 42%, with the largest series of 182 patients demonstrating an incidence of 17%. The right atrium is involved five times as often as the left, with the auricle the predominant site in either atria. Clinical atrial infarction may present with supraventricular arrhythmias, atrial rupture, hemodynamic compromise from loss of atrial "kick", and thromboembolic phenomena. Diagnosis currently is made in an appropriate clinical setting with characteristic PR interval changes. Other noninvasive techniques have shown only limited diagnostic utility, but esophageal echocardiography may prove to be a useful technique in this setting.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine