Surgical ligation of the left atrial appendage is considered standard of care in patients who undergo mitral valve surgery or as an adjunct to a surgical Maze procedure for treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF). However, several studies have demonstrated that this can result in incompletely surgically ligated left atrial appendage (ISLL) in a significant number of patients. It is believed that ISLL may in turn promote thrombus formation and lead to clinically relevant thromboembolic events. A novel approach for percutaneous endocardial occlusion of ISLL is described.Methods and Results
Seven patients with AF and ISLL following prior open-chest, surgical suture ligation in the absence of rheumatic heart disease, underwent percutaneous endocardial ISLL occlusion using an Amplatzer Septal Occluder device guided by fluoroscopy and transesophageal echocardiography through a novel approach. Three patients were diagnosed in the setting of acute embolic stroke, 2 at the time of cardiac arrhythmia ablation and 2 by elective precardioversion transesophageal echocardiography. All patients were treated with oral anticoagulation therapy. Acute and long-term ISLL occlusion was successfully achieved in 6 patients, in whom oral anticoagulation was eventually discontinued without any embolic events during 10 ± 2 months of follow-up.Conclusion
Percutaneous endocardial occlusion of ISLL is feasible using an Amplatzer Septal Occluder device. Additional studies are required to evaluate the long-term safety and efficacy of this therapeutic treatment strategy in patients with ISLL.