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Advances in Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion Strategies

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia worldwide and associated with an elevated risk of thromboembolic stroke and systemic embolization. The evidence suggests that ~90% of thrombi in patients with non-valvular AF are localized to the left atrial appendage (LAA). Therefore, it seems reasonable to consider LAA exclusion in selected patients with AF for stroke prevention. LAA exclusion can be achieved through a variety of surgical and percutaneous techniques. Surgical methods include LAA amputation, ligation, clipping and stapling. Whereas percutaneous strategies consist of endocardial closure using an LAA occlusion device and epicardial LAA ligation using a snare device. Even though several trials and registries of LAA exclusion have yielded promising outcomes, at this time evidence for long term safety and efficacy seems insufficient to recommend this approach to all patients with non-valvular AF. Future prospective randomized trials are needed to assess the precise role for these therapeutic options. Furthermore, there is a paucity of data on the comparison of these strategies to the novel oral anticoagulants which also deserves further attention. This review will carefully examine the current LAA exclusion techniques and the available data.

Credits: Arash Aryana; Sheldon M. Singh; Shephal K. Doshi; André d’Avila

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Introduction to AFib
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