DOI: 10.1002/ca.24110 ISSN:

A meta‐analysis of the accessory left atrial appendage and the left atrial diverticulum

Jakub Ratusznik, Filip Ratusznik, Jakub R. Pękala, Eirik Krager, Mateusz Hołda, Victoria Sarata, Dominik Łazarz, Wiktor Raputa, Krzysztof A. Tomaszewski
  • General Medicine
  • Histology
  • Anatomy


Left atrial (LA) structures, including the accessory left atrial appendage (aLAA) and left atrial diverticulum, have been studied based on their prevalence, shape, and association with arrhythmia and thrombi formation. A pooled prevalence with morphometric data has not been determined in previous research. Our goal is to provide structured, clinically relevant information on said structures for clinical practitioners to use in their daily work. We propose that morphometric data of additional LA structures is necessary when considering the possible complications during cardiac interventions. We conducted a meta‐analysis of all relevant studies which used electrocardiogram (ECG)‐gated computed tomography (CT) imaging to determine the prevalence of LA structures and record their morphometric characteristics as well as the presence of thrombi. Data were extracted from 19 studies (n = 6643 hearts). The pooled prevalence estimate of left atrial diverticulum and/or aLAAs were reported from 14 studies and was 28.8%. The most common location noted was anterosuperior in the LA with 70.2% of structures found there. Data regarding thrombi presence in left atrial diverticulums or aLAAs were extracted from 11 studies and a thrombus was present in 0.2%. The prevalence rates of aLAAs and left atrial diverticulums are essential in performing uncomplicated cardiac interventions and reducing risk of electrophysiological procedures. Our findings show a considerable prevalence of LA structures in varying populations, provides information regarding the general characteristics of said structures, and does not support the previously theorized associated risk of thrombus formation in relation to LA structure presence.

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