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Case report
Paroxysmal atrial fibrillation presenting as anterior wall STEMI in an elderly woman
  1. Muhammad Asim Shabbir1,
  2. Muhammad Hamza Saad Shaukat1,2,
  3. Lance Sullenberger3 and
  4. Mikhail Torosoff4
  1. 1 Internal Medicine, Albany Medical Center Hospital, Albany, New York, USA
  2. 2 Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan
  3. 3 Capital Cardiology Associates, Albany Medical Center Hospital, Albany, New York, USA
  4. 4 Cardiology, Albany Medical Center Hospital, Albany, New York, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Muhammad Hamza Saad Shaukat, hamzasaad1991{at}


A 77-year-old woman without traditional risk factors for coronary artery disease (CAD) underwent coronary CT-angiography for evaluation of palpitations after negative Holter monitoring and non-diagnostic ECG exercise stress test. Coronary artery calcium score was reported zero; 1 day later, she was admitted with anterior-wall ST elevation myocardial infarction. Acute left anterior descending artery thrombus was treated with mechanical thrombectomy and Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI). Interestingly, the coronary arteries were angiographically normal. During hospitalisation, paroxysmal atrial fibrillation was noted followed by initiation of anticoagulation. Echocardiogram did not show thrombus or atrial shunt. Cardioversion with Sotalol was successful. Myocardial infraction was most likely cardioembolic secondary to paroxysmal atrial fibrillation—consistent with longstanding history of palpitations. Accounting for 3% of acute coronary syndromes, coronary embolism is treated with therapeutic anticoagulation for at least 3 months irrespective of cause and carries a higher risk of adverse cardiovascular events.

  • arrhythmias
  • interventional cardiology
  • cardiovascular medicine
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  • Contributors MHSS and MAS drafted the manuscript. MT and LS helped with editing and literature review.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

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