Author + information
- Received October 3, 2012
- Accepted October 11, 2012
- Published online February 1, 2013.
- Walter E. Mashman, MD⁎ ()
- ↵⁎Reprint requests and correspondence:
Dr. Walter E. Mashman, Piedmont Heart, 275 Collier Road, Suite 300, Atlanta, Georgia 30309
An 82-year-old retired nurse was referred for catheterization because of severe aortic stenosis. The initial images in the antero-posterior projection provided an unexpected gift. Calcification within the heart looked like a heart (Fig. 1,Online Video 1). The unintended message briefly caught my attention but was felt to have no clinical significance beyond the expected calcifications. The patient went on to have uneventful aortic valve replacement and coronary bypass.
Sometimes people (including me) see things that are not there. Although the image of “the heart in a heart” is cute, it has no true meaning and is not significant in any way. The shape that the calcifications of the mitral annulus and the aortic valve made in this patient in that particular orientation coincidentally resembled a traditional stylized image of a heart. People see what they want to see, or what they are primed to see. An echocardiographic image of a heart-shaped left ventricular thrombus has been previously reported (1).
Dr. Mashman has reported that he has no relationships relevant to the contents of this paper to disclose.
- Received October 3, 2012.
- Accepted October 11, 2012.
- American College of Cardiology Foundation