Direct Current Cardioversion of Atrial Fibrillation in Patients With Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion Devices

Sharan Prakash Sharma, Mohit K. Turagam, Rakesh Gopinathannair, Vivek Reddy, Saibal Kar, Sangamitra Mohanty, Jie Cheng, David R. Holmes, Lars Sondergaard, Andrea Natale, Dhanunjaya Lakkireddy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Direct current cardioversion (DCCV) is a common rhythm control strategy in patients with symptomatic atrial fibrillation or flutter. There is no long-term data regarding the safety of DCCV in patients with endocardial left atrial appendage occlusion (LAAO) devices. Objectives: The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility and safety of DCCV in patients with an LAAO device. Methods: This multicenter retrospective study included 148 patients with an LAAO device who underwent DCCV for symptomatic atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter. Results: The average age of the included patients was 72 ± 7 years and 59% were men. All patients (100%) had a transesophageal echocardiogram prior to DCCV. Device-related thrombus was seen in 2.7%. They were all successfully treated with oral anticoagulation (OAC) and were able to undergo DCCV after 6 to 8 weeks. DCCV restored sinus rhythm in all patients. None of the patients had DCCV-related thromboembolic complications. A total of 22% of patients were newly started on OAC after DCCV. There was no difference in DCCV-related complications between patients treated with or without OAC post-DCCV. Patients receiving OAC post-DCCV were found to undergo cardioversion at an earlier time after implantation (3.6 months [interquartile range (IQR): 0.7 to 8.6 months] vs. 8.6 months [IQR: 2.5 to 13.3 months]; p = 0.003). Three transient ischemic attacks, unrelated to DCCV, were found during follow-up. During a median follow-up of 12.8 months (IQR: 11.8 to 14.2 months), no device or left atrial thrombosis, device dislodgement, or a new device leak were observed. One patient died during follow-up due to noncardiac cause. Conclusions: DCCV is feasible in high-risk AF patients with an LAAO device without the need for oral anticoagulation if pre-procedural transesophageal echocardiography shows good device position, absence of device-related thrombus, and peridevice leak of ≤5 mm. The preliminary results are encouraging, but further large studies are warranted to establish safety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2267-2274
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number18
StatePublished - Nov 5 2019


  • Watchman
  • direct current cardioversion
  • left atrial appendage occlusion
  • oral anticoagulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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