Left atrial appendage
||It has been suggested that this article be merged into Left atrium. (Discuss) Proposed since July 2014.|
|Left atrial appendage|
Heart seen from above. (Left auricula labeled at bottom left.)
Section of the heart showing the ventricular septum. (Left auricula labeled at upper right.)
It has a distinct embryologic origin.
The LAA is a small pouch located high in the left atrium; it is within the pericardium and has a wall adjacent to the left ventricle. It appears to "function as a decompression chamber during left ventricular systole and during other periods when left atrial pressure is high".
In patients with atrial fibrillation, mitral valve disease, and other conditions, blood clots have a tendency to form in the LAA. Blood clots caused by atrial fibrillation stem from the LAA in more than 90% of cases. They may dislodge (forming emboli), which may lead to ischemic damage to the brain, kidneys, or other organs supplied by the systemic circulation. Left atrial appendage occlusion is an experimental treatment to prevent stroke in atrial fibrillation.
Functions as a reservoir for the left atrium.
The left atrial appendage can be seen on a standard posteroanterior x-ray, where the lower level of the left hilum becomes concave.
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