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Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 2013 May;57(5):669-73. doi: 10.1111/aas.12072. Epub 2013 Jan 22.

Intra-arrest formation of right-heart thrombi -- a case illustrated by real-time ultrasonography.

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Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care, Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Medicine in Hradec Kralove, University Hospital Hradec Kralove, Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic.


The presence of free-floating right-heart thrombus has been reported in a cardiac arrest patient in the periarrest period. Free-floating right atrial thrombus is a rare phenomenon seen in patients developing severe pulmonary embolism, and is associated with increased mortality. However, there have been no previously reported cases of right-heart thrombus formation during a resuscitated cardiac arrest. We present the pre-hospital case of a woman in the clinical setting of cardiogenic shock due to acute myocardial infarction who developed asystolic cardiac arrest on the scene. Recent implementation of ultrasonography into the regional pre-hospital care protocol enabled sonographic investigation before and during cardiac arrest. This allowed detection of right atrial septal thrombus formation in the course of advanced life support and its migration through the tricuspid valve. The pathophysiological consequences, clinical significance and potential therapeutic options are discussed.

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