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AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2009 Sep;193(3):807-12. doi: 10.2214/AJR.08.2229.

Cardiac CT assessment of left atrial accessory appendages and diverticula.

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Department of Radiology, Section of Cardiovascular Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 55 Fruit St. (GRB-290), Boston, MA 02114-2696, USA.



The purpose of this study is to describe the prevalence, morphology, size, and location of left atrial abnormalities including diverticula and accessory appendages in consecutive patients undergoing cardiac-gated CT for coronary artery evaluation.


Routine retrospectively gated contrast-enhanced 64-MDCT angiography (0.75-mm collimation, 330-milliseconds gantry rotation time) was performed in 529 consecutive patients. CT data sets were evaluated using axial, sagittal, coronal, and interactive multiplanar reconstructions; maximum intensity projections (MIPs); and interactive volume rendering. The presence, type, and location of left atrial appendages and diverticula were recorded.


One hundred twenty-one patients had left atrial accessory appendages (n = 20) or left atrial diverticula (n = 81) or both (n = 20). One hundred four left atrial diverticula were found in 101 of the 529 patients (20%) and 44 accessory appendages in 41 patients (8%). Of the atrial diverticula, 88% were superior and anterior, 9% were right lateral superior, and 3% were inferior. Of accessory appendages, 34% were inferior posterior, 32% were left inferior, 18% were superior anterior, 14% were inferior posterior, and 2% were right inferior posterior. The average sizes of diverticula were 6.4 +/- 2.5 x 6.2 +/- 2.4 mm, and accessory appendages were 4.9 +/- 2.1 x 3.9 +/- 2.4 mm.


Left atrial diverticula and accessory appendages are commonly found on cardiac-gated CT.

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