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July 1964

Left Atrial Thrombus With Ball Valve Action: Report of a Case With Successful Surgical Removal

Author Affiliations


Instructor in Medicine (Dr. Dembo) and Professor of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery (Dr. Cowley), University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Arch Intern Med. 1964;114(1):139-144. doi:10.1001/archinte.1964.03860070185026

With the development of pump oxygenator techniques, surgical intervention for cardiac lesions previously considered uniformly fatal has become a reality. The first successful removal of an interatrial mass, a myxoma, was performed in 1953.1 Since then, there have been a few cases reported in which an atrial thrombus with ball valve action has been diagnosed preoperatively and successfully removed.2 This report describes the findings in a patient with thrombosis of the left atrium with unusual clinical manifestations. The thrombus was removed successfully by the open-heart technique.

Report of Case  A 51-year-old, widowed, white female was admitted to the University Hospital with complaints of shortness of breath, numbness and pain in the left leg, loss of vision in the left eye, and pain in the left arm. Approximately two months prior to her admission, an appendectomy had been performed in another hospital. Subsequent to discharge, she felt poorly, and

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