Non-surgical left atrial appendage closure for stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Non-Surgical Left Atrial Appendage Closure for Stroke Prevention in Atrial Fibrillation. The most feared complication associated with atrial fibrillation (AF) is stroke, the risk of which increases with advanced age. Because of its complex anatomy and diminished blood flow during AF, the left atrial appendage (LAA) has been a common site of left atrial thrombi and presumed source of thromboembolism. Systemic anticoagulation to treat what may be largely a localized phenomenon is associated with significant complications. Newer anticoagulation agents hold great promise in facilitating dosing and eliminating drug and food interactions, but do not eliminate bleeding risk. These challenges have led to interest in mechanical exclusion of the LAA as a means of preventing thromboembolism in AF. Although surgery permits greater visualization and management of complications, the potential morbidity has limited adoption in often-frail elderly patients. In this paper, we review the current state of percutaneous left atrial exclusion for stroke prevention in AF, and the strengths and limitations of each of these strategies. The nonsurgical approaches to excluding the LAA from the central circulation can be divided into 3 broad categories: transseptally placed devices, percutaneous epicardial approach, and hybrid approaches. The availability of several approaches will allow physician selection of the optimal approach for a given patient based on clinical, physiological, and anatomical considerations. LAA exclusion stands to become an increasingly attractive option for patients with nonvalvular AF because it can be offered to elderly AF patients, and eliminates the long-term cumulative bleeding risks and adherence challenge of anticoagulants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1184-1191
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of cardiovascular electrophysiology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2011


  • LAA occlusion
  • atrial fibrillation
  • left atrial appendage
  • stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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