Dr. Subramanium KrishnanHeart patients may gather useful insights from this news. Scientists from UC Irvine claim that they have discovered a pouchlike formation within the heart’s left atrial chamber that could be a powerful basis of stroke-causing blood clots.

Apparently, around 80 percent of the 700,000-plus strokes that take place yearly in the U.S. are owing to blood clots obstructing a brain artery. The origin of the clots supposedly cannot be found in up to one third of these cases.

The finding of this left atrial pouch may perhaps offer answers and update neurologists’ attempts to avert stroke recurrences. This was mentioned by study co-author Dr. Subramaniam Krishnan.

Krishnan and Dr. Miguel Salazar of UCI initially noticed the pouch while conducting autopsy research. Following ultrasound and CT scans of patients’ hearts apparently established the discovery. The study authors approximate that the anatomical trait, which Krishnan equated to a kangaroo pouch, is supposedly there in around 30 percent to 35 percent of people.

Krishnan commented, “The cul-de-sac nature of the heart pouch can promote stagnation of the blood, forming clots that can travel into the brain and cause a stroke. It was thought that the body of the left atrium was largely smooth and unlikely to be a source of blood clots, but we have found that not to be true for roughly one in three people.”

Krishnan and UCI neurologist Dr. Mark Fisher are presently investigating the commonness of the left atrial pouch in patients who have already suffered strokes.

Fisher mentioned that this finding points to a potentially important cause of strokes. The presence of this pouch could change how neurologists treat these patients and lead to new therapeutic strategies for preventing strokes.

The study was published in Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Cardiovascular Interventions.