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Pitfalls in the diagnosis of left ventricular hypertrabeculation/non-compaction
  1. C Stöllberger1,
  2. J Finsterer2
  1. 1Second Medical Department, Krankenanstalt Rudolfstiftung, Vienna, Austria
  2. 2Krankenanstalt Rudolfstiftung, Vienna, Austria
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr C Stöllberger
 Second Medical Department, Krankenanstalt Rudolfstiftung, Steingasse 31/18, A-1030 Wien, Austria;claudia.stoellberger{at}


Left ventricular hypertrabeculation/non-compaction (LVHT) is a cardiac abnormality, characterised by >3 trabeculations apically to the papillary muscles and intertrabecular spaces. LVHT may occur with other cardiac abnormalities, heart failure, electrocardiographic abnormalities and neuromuscular disorders. This study gives an overview about (1) patients with LVHT in whom LVHT was initially overlooked and (2) cardiac conditions that may lead to falsely diagnosed LVHT. In 50 reported cases, LVHT has been overlooked and misdiagnosed as dilated (n = 20), hypertrophic (n = 14) or restrictive cardiomyopathy (n = 2), endocardial fibroelastosis (n = 5), endomyocardial fibrosis (n = 1), myocarditis (n = 3), thrombus (n = 2), localised left ventricular hypertrophy (n = 1), left ventricular mass (n = 1) or myocardial/pericardial disease (n = 1). In 14 patients, LVHT was diagnosed only by transoesophageal echocardiography (n = 1), computed tomography (n = 2) ventriculography (n = 2), magnetic resonance imaging (n = 3) or pathoanatomic findings (n = 6). Falsely diagnosed LVHT comprises false tendons, aberrant bands, thrombi, apical hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, fibroma, obliterative processes, intramyocardial haematoma, cardiac metastases and intramyocardial abscesses. Echocardiographers should be more aware of LVHT and consider its differential diagnoses.

  • LVHT, left ventricular hypertrabeculation/non-compaction
  • echocardiography
  • cardiomyopathy
  • myopathy
  • magnetic resonance imaging

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  • Competing interests: None.