Intracardiac Versus Transesophageal Echocardiography for Diagnosis of Left Atrial Appendage Thrombosis in Atrial Fibrillation: A Meta-analysis


Left atrial appendage (LAA) thrombus in patients with atrial fibrillation is usually detected by transesophageal echocardiography (TEE). Intracardiac echocardiography (ICE) can be a suitable alternative to detect thrombosis. However, the effectiveness of the two methods for detecting LAA thrombus is still unclear, we performed a meta-analysis that compared ICE versus TEE for LAA thrombosis.


We searched PubMed, Cochrane Library, and Embase for published abstracts and manuscripts on June 1, 2020. The analysis was performed using RevMan 5.3, STATA 15, and Meta-Disc 1.4.


Eight studies consists of 1108 patients (TEE = 558 vs. ICE = 550) were included. The average sensitivity of ICE and TEE to diagnose LAA thrombus is 1.0 (95% CI: 0.91-1.00) versus 0.68 (95% CI: 0.49-0.83), and specificity of ICE and TEE to diagnosis of LAA thrombus is 1.0 (95% CI: 0.99-1.00) versus 0.98 (95% CI: 0.96-0.99). The AUC of ICE and TEE is 0.9846 (SEAUC = 0.0196) and 0.9655 (SEAUC = 0.0401), and the Q* statistics is 0.9462 (SEQ* = 0.0406) and 0.9127 (SEQ * = 0.0616), respectively. Z test was performed on Q* statistics (Z = 0.45, p > .05).


The ICE and TEE have similar diagnostic efficacy for LAA thrombosis, but the ICE has higher sensitivity. Compared with TEE, ICE may be more advantages and prospects for clinical application.