Background: Percutaneous left atrial appendage (LAA) ligation using an epicardial suture system (LARIAT®, SentreHEART, Palo Alto, CA) has been used in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (AF) and contraindication to oral anticoagulation. However, complex LAA anatomy may preclude its use. We report the safety and effectiveness of compassionate use of first-generation LARIAT® device for epicardial ligation of large, complex left atrial appendages.
Methods: Between January 2010 and March 2013, 93 patients with AF, high CHADS2 score, and contraindication(s) for oral anticoagulation therapy were evaluated for LAA ligation. Complex anatomy detected by 3D cardiac computed tomography CT angiography led to preclusion of 25 patients (27%). Of these, nine patients who opted for epicardial LAA ligation on compassionate grounds were studied.
Results: Mean age was 68.1 ± 8.2 years, four females, all with large LAA width (>40 mm, 45-58 mm) and additional anatomic complexities such as bilobed (two), long C-shaped-like (two), goose neck-like (one), multilobed cauliflower-like (two), cactus-like (one), and chicken wing-like (one) LAA. LAA ligation with LARIAT® was successfully performed with surgical standby in all patients. Seven patients (78%) were safely treated percutaneously and only two patients required minimally invasive thoracotomy (one due to inability to release the epicardial snare from long C-shaped LAA and other due to preexisting adhesions precluding pericardial entry). There were no major complications. Repeat trans-esophageal echocardiography at 3 months showed no remnant flow and none had stroke off Coumadin at 19.3 ± 8.2 months of follow-up.
Conclusions: Despite a high preclusion rate, percutaneous LAA ligation may be safely and effectively performed on compassionate grounds using the first-generation LARIAT® device with surgical standby in patients with large and complex LAA.