Cardiac CT assessment of left atrial accessory appendages and diverticula

Suhny Abbara, Jorge A. Mundo-Sagardia, Udo Hoffmann, Ricardo C. Cury

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE. 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. MATERIALS AND METHODS. 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. RESULTS. 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. CONCLUSION. Left atrial diverticula and accessory appendages are commonly found on cardiac-gated CT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)807-812
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2009


  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Cardiac CT
  • Cardiac congenital disease
  • Left atrial accessory appendage
  • Left atrial diverticulum
  • Left atrial enlargement
  • Thrombus
  • Valvular heart disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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