Accessory left atrial diverticulae: contractile properties depicted with 64-slice cine-cardiac CT

  • Ronan P. Killeen
  • Ronan Ryan
  • Aoife MacErlane
  • Ramon Martos
  • David Keane
  • Jonathan D. Dodd
Original Paper


To assess the contractility of accessory left atrial appendages (LAAs) using multiphasic cardiac CT. We retrospectively analyzed the presence, location, size and contractile properties of accessory LAAs using multiphasic cardiac 64-slice CT in 102 consecutive patients (63 males, 39 females, mean age 57). Multiplanar reformats were used to create image planes in axial oblique, sagittal oblique and coronal oblique planes. For all appendages with an orifice diameter ≥ 10 mm, axial and sagittal diameters and appendage volumes were recorded in atrial diastole and systole. Regression analysis was performed to assess which imaging appearances best predicted accessory appendage contractility. Twenty-three (23%) patients demonstrated an accessory LAA, all identified along the anterior LA wall. Dimensions for axial oblique (AOD) and sagittal oblique (SOD) diameters and sagittal oblique length (SOL) were 6.3–19, 3.4–20 and 5–21 mm, respectively. All appendages (≥10 mm) demonstrated significant contraction during atrial systole (greatest diameter reduction was AOD [3.8 mm, 27%]). Significant correlations were noted between AOD-contraction and AOD (R = 0.57, P < 0.05) and SOD-contraction and AOD, SOD and SOL (R = 0.6, P < 0.05). Mean diverticulum volume in atrial diastole was 468.4 ± 493 mm3 and in systole was 171.2 ± 122 mm3, indicating a mean change in volume of 297.2 ± 390 mm3, P < 0.0001. Stepwise multiple regression analysis revealed SOL to be the strongest independent predictor of appendage contractility (R2 = 0.86, P < 0.0001) followed by SOD (R2 = 0.91, P < 0.0001). Accessory LAAs show significant contractile properties on cardiac CT. Those accessory LAAs with a large sagittal height or depth should be evaluated for contractile properties, and if present should be examined for ectopic activity during electrophysiological studies.


Computed tomography Cardiac CT Diverticulum Atrial fibrillation Left atrium 

Supplementary material

10554_2009_9511_MOESM1_ESM.avi (981 kb)
Multiphasic cardiac CT demonstrated significant contraction of an accessory LA diverticulum. LA-left atrium

Cine fluoroscopic angiogram of the LA demonstrated a contractile accessory LA appendage arising from the anterior wall with the catheter tip within it. This proved to be a source of early ectopic atrial activity


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronan P. Killeen
    • 1
  • Ronan Ryan
    • 1
  • Aoife MacErlane
    • 1
  • Ramon Martos
    • 2
  • David Keane
    • 2
  • Jonathan D. Dodd
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of RadiologySt. Vincent’s University HospitalDublin 4Ireland
  2. 2.Departments of CardiologySt. Vincent’s University HospitalDublin 4Ireland

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