X-ray Appearance and Clinical Significance of Left Atrial Wall Calcification

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Ten patients with calcifications of the left atrium are reported with review of the literature. Calcification of the left atrium is frequently associated with history of rheumatic fever, longstanding congestive heart failure, atrial fibrillation, mural thrombus and embolization. Early recognition of such lesions is essential for the management of the patients, particularly when surgical intervention is contemplated. A practical classification of left atrial calcification is proposed according to the dominant lesion in each group: (a) Calcification of the left atrial appendage alone (Mitral stenosis). (b) cacification of all 3 component lesions of the left atrium, i.e, the left atrial appendage, the free wall, and the mitral valve (Severe mitral stenosis). (c) Calcification of the left atrium in MacCallum's patch alone (Mitral insufficiency).

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