Long-term follow-up after left atrial appendage occlusion with comparison of transesophageal echocardiography versus computed tomography to guide medical therapy and data about postclosure cardioversion

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Abstract

Aims:

The use of left atrial appendage (LAA) occluders in atrial fibrillation is increasing. There are few data on the comparison between transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) and computed tomography (MDCT) assessing peridevice flow and outcome of electrical cardioversion (ECV) in these patients.

Methods and results:

Single-center prospective registry from 2009 to 2015 including all LAA occluders to analyze success and complications during implantation and follow-up. Patients having ≥1 ECV were further analyzed. TEE was performed during implantation and at 6 weeks. In a subgroup of 77 patients, we compared MDCT with TEE at 6 weeks.

Methods and results:

Overall, 135 patients (69 ± 9 years; 70% male; CHA2DS2-VASc score: 3.6 ± 1.4; HAS-BLED score: 2.5 ± 0.6) received a LAA occluder (Watchman, n = 73; ACP-1, n = 59; Amulet, n = 3; PVI + LAA occluder, n = 91; and LAA occluder only, n = 44). Device implantation was successful in 131 (97%). Eight patients (5.9%) had major periprocedural complications (ischemic stroke/transient ischemic attacks, n = 4, tamponade, n = 2, device thrombosis, n = 2, Dressler syndrome, n = 1). The periprocedural complication rate was similar between concomitant procedure and LAA occluder only (8/91 vs. 5/44; P = 0.6). Twelve patients (9%) died (procedure-related, n = 2; 1%) during follow-up of 44 months (IQR: 43). MDCT (n = 77) at 6 weeks showed similar peridevice flow compared to TEE (TEE: 1.5 ± 1.9 mm vs. MDCT: 1.1 ± 2.2 mm, P = 0.25). Thromboembolic events occurred in 3 patients (CVA, n = 1; TIA, n = 2) during follow-up. In total, 41 ECV were performed in 26 patients (1.6 ± 0.9/patient), 13 months (IQR: 24) after implantation (<1 month: n = 8). No ECV-related clinical complications were observed.

Conclusion:

LAA occlusion is feasible with an acceptable safety profile and few events during long-term follow-up. ECV after LAA occlusion is feasible. MDCT could help to evaluate peridevice flow.

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