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Left atrial thrombus as an early consequence of blunt chest trauma

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Thromboembolism is rarely considered in discussions of the complications of blunt chest trauma. The few cases of thromboembolism that have been reported in this setting have occurred in association with significant myocardial damage. A previously fit 23 year old woman was admitted to the intensive care unit following a road traffic accident. A day later, left atrial thrombus was demonstrated by transoesophageal echocardiography in the absence of any other evidence of important myocardial injury. Anticoagulation with heparin was cautiously introduced in spite of her extensive injuries, and there were no consequent bleeding complications. At hospital discharge on day 18 she was entirely well. Full anticoagulation with warfarin was continued for a further eight weeks at which time follow up transoesophageal echocardiography showed complete resolution of the thrombus.

 Keywords: blunt chest trauma; thromboembolism; left atrial thrombus; transoesophageal echocardiography


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