The thrombus formed within the LAA is responsible for the vast (about 90%) majority of strokes. Anticoagulation, although effective therapy for stroke prevention is not feasible in a significant minority of patients due to various reasons. Two percutaenous LAA exclusion techniques have been developed in an effort to decrease risk for stroke: endocardial closure/plugging of the LAA (Watchman, Amplatzer devices) and epicardial LAA ligation (LARIAT). The aim of this study is to review the trial data to date for the LARIAT device.
The LARIAT suture has been used in more than 4500 patients with high success of LAA complete closure (92-100%), mostly in the patients unable to take anticoagulation and in a small minority as antiarrhythmic option. The LARIAT technique has evolved with a change in pericardial access method that resulted in dramatic improvement of safety. LAA closure performance with LARIAT system seems to be similar to Watchman device, with small leaks during follow-up in 6-24% of the cases, which do not to correlate with thrombo-embolic events. LAA has been proven to play an important triggering role in patients with persistent atrial fibrillation. Small studies had shown that LAA ligation with LARIAT could terminate persistent atrial fibrillation and possible improve ablation success. Ongoing aMAZE randomized trial is studying if LAA ligaiton using LARIAT suture leads to improved atrial fibrillation ablation success.
Credits: Dan Musat, MD; Suneet Mittal, MD Valley Health System of NY and NJ, Paramus, NJ