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Incidence of Catheter-Associated Right Atrial Thrombus Detected by Transthoracic Echocardiogram
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  • Jeffrey Clark,
  • Steven Hoffman,
  • Nathan Shlobin,
  • Aakash Bavishi,
  • Akhil Narang
Jeffrey Clark
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Steven Hoffman
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
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Nathan Shlobin
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Aakash Bavishi
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Akhil Narang
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
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Introduction: The development of right atrial (RA) thrombus (RAT) is a known complication of central venous catheter insertion (CVC). Deeper insertion of CVC within the RA may increase the risk for RAT development versus those placed at the superior vena cava (SVC)-RA junction. We sought to evaluate the incidence of catheter-associated RAT as detected by transthoracic echocardiograms (TTEs), characterize thrombi though multimodal imaging, and evaluate thrombi management with follow-up imaging. Methods: A retrospective analysis was conducted of consecutive TTEs from our institution between October 1, 2018, and January 1, 2020 in which a venous catheter was visualized in the RA. Studies were reviewed in detail to determine presence of suspected RAT. Demographic data, comorbidities, laboratory values, characteristics of the catheter and the thrombus, subsequent imaging and management, and outcomes were collected. Results: A total of 364 TTEs were performed in 290 patients with a venous catheter visualized in the RA. Of these 290 patients, 15 had an imaging suspicion for RAT yielding an incidence of 5.2%. Management strategies included anticoagulation in 13 (86.7%) patients and catheter removal in 11 (73.3%) patients. At eight months follow-up, 11 (73.3%) patients had resolution of RAT based on subsequent imaging. Conclusion: In patients with deeply placed CVC catheters, the incidental detection of RAT by TTE was not trivial. Anticoagulation and catheter removal and replacement, if deemed safe, were effective methods of thrombus management. RAT as a complication of CVCs must be accounted for when addressing factors that influence depth of CVC insertion.

Peer review status:ACCEPTED

01 Dec 2020Submitted to Echocardiography
03 Dec 2020Assigned to Editor
03 Dec 2020Submission Checks Completed
04 Dec 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
06 Jan 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
09 Jan 2021Editorial Decision: Accept