Anesthetic Management of Patients Undergoing Percutaneous Endocardial and Epicardial Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion

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Atrial fibrillation is the most common cardiac arrhythmia in adults affecting almost 6 million adults in the United States. The 2 most common comorbidities associated with atrial fibrillation are heart failure and thromboembolic events. Heart failure symptoms may be treated with rate control, antiarrhythmic medications or by catheter ablation. Unfortunately, despite optimal medical management, thromboembolic events still occur. Recently, there has been a great deal of interest and innovation in finding an alternative to chronic anticoagulation. Several percutaneous left atrial appendage occlusion devices have been developed over recent years, some of which have proven to be noninferior to anticoagulation in preventing strokes in atrial fibrillation patients. The 2 most widely used left atrial appendage occlusion devices are the WATCHMAN (Atritech Inc, Plymouth, MN, USA) and the LARIAT (SentreHEART, Palo Alto, CA, USA) devices. After a detailed description of the procedures, the anesthetic considerations of each procedure and management of specific adverse events are discussed within this review.

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