Clinical utility of delayed-contrast computed tomography for tissue characterization of cardiac thrombus
Radiographic Image Enhancement
Among patients that present with cardiac masses, thrombus is an important diagnostic consideration that affects both clinical management and prognosis. Although thrombus can occasionally be difficult to diagnose using structural criteria alone, it can be distinguished from other structures according to tissue characteristics. Because thrombus is inherently avascular, absence of contrast uptake was used as a highly specific identifying feature. Delayed-contrast cardiac computed tomography (CT) imaging has been previously used for myocardial tissue characterization, distinguishing between viable and infarcted myocardium based upon differences in contrast uptake. This technique also offers potential diagnostic utility for assessment of thrombus. In this report, we describe a case of a patient with a giant left atrial mass in whom delayed-contrast CT was employed as a useful diagnostic technique for identification of cardiac thrombus.