Atrial septal defect (ASD) closure reduces symptoms and prevents ongoing congestive heart failure. However, little is known about device closure in the elderly (age > 60 years) and whether it is a safe and effective treatment. In this study, we report our results with ASD transcatheter closure in the elderly patient > 60 years of age using the Amplatzer Septal Occluder (ASO) device.
Methods: Between September 1999 and March 2007, a total of 41 patients (24 females and 17 males) who were > 60 years of age (range 62-87.2 years) and had indications for ASD closure (right ventricular enlargement, clinically symptomatic dyspnea, fatigue, palpitations, exercise intolerance, transient ischemic attacks and/or stroke) underwent an attempt of transcatheter device closure using the ASO.
Results: The median Qp/Qs ratio was 2.3 (range 1-7.5). The median mean pulmonary artery pressure was 26 mmHg (range 11-52 mmHg). The median size of the ASD as measured by intracardiac echocardiography (ICE) (n = 38) or transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) (n = 3) was 18.9 mm (range 8-40 mm), and the median balloon-stretched (stop-flow technique) diameter (n = 32) was 23.5 mm (range 12-40 mm). The procedure was successful in all patients. 44 devices were deployed in the 41 patients (3 patients received 2 devices each). A 6 mm fenestration was created in a 30 mm device that was placed in 2 patients with left ventricle diastolic dysfunction. The median fluoroscopy time was 10 minutes (range 4-24.8 minutes), and the median procedure time was 60 minutes (range 26-110 minutes). Complications encountered during or within 24 hours after the procedure included: hematoma at the site of catheter insertion in 4 patients, small pericardial effusion in 5, and in 1 patient, the pacemaker lead was dislodged requiring reimplantation. The complete closure rate as assessed by ICE or TEE immediately after the procedure was 82%. However, complete closure, as assessed by transthoracic echocardiography at 24 hours and 6-24 months postintervention, was 82% and 97%, respectively. Two patients did not return for follow up and 4 patients were known to have expired for reasons unrelated to their ASD closure. At a median interval of 6 months after closure, the right ventricular end-diastolic dimension decreased from 38.9 +/- 9 mm preprocedure to 26.6 +/- 7 mm (p < 0.001; n = 31) postprocedure, and 89% of the patients showed improvement in symptoms. On a median follow-up interval of 28 months (range 6-79 months), 1 patient was noted to have a femoral pseudoaneurysm. Patients were doing well with no major clinical events.
Conclusion: In patients older than 60 years of age, device closure of ASDs is safe and an effective alternative to surgery. Right-heart remodeling can occur in patients > 60 years of age.