Successful thrombolysis of right atrial and ventricular thrombi in a patient with massive pulmonary embolism

Hippokratia 2009, 13(3):178-180

I. Vogiatzis, I. Dapcevic, V. Sachpekidis, P. Stafylas, A. Sidiropoulos, S. Pittas, V. Tsangaris


Right sided heart thrombi may develop within the right heart chambers or they may be peripheral venous clots that on their way to the lungs, accidentally lodge in a patent foramen ovale, tricuspid chordae or Chiari?s network. Type A thrombi have a worm-like shape and are extremely mobile. These pleomorphic thrombi are mainly localized in the right atrium, frequently move back and forth through the tricuspid orifice and may cause cardiovascular collapse when entrapment occurs. Type B thrombi attach to the atrial or ventricular wall indicating that they are probably of local origin. We describe the case of a middle age man (48 years old) with no cardiovascular history and a massive pulmonary embolism where transthoracic echocardiography revealed many type A thrombi in both right atrium and ventricle. He presented with acute dyspnea, diaphoresis and hemodynamical instability. He was treated with thrombolysis and after three hours was greatly improved and the thrombi were disappeared. After ten days of hospitalization he was discharged. Thrombi were originated in the popliteal region of the inferior vena cava of both legs and were totally treated.