Aims: To investigate the safety, feasibility, and efficacy of left atrial appendage occlusion (LAAO) with the AMPLATZER Cardiac Plug (ACP) for stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF).
Methods and results: Data from consecutive patients treated in 22 centres were collected. A total of 1,047 patients were included in the study. Procedural success was 97.3%. There were 52 (4.97%) periprocedural major adverse events. Follow-up was complete in 1,001/1,019 (98.2%) of successfully implanted patients (average 13 months, total 1,349 patient-years). One-year all-cause mortality was 4.2%. No death at follow-up was reported as device-related. There were nine strokes (0.9%) and nine transient ischaemic attacks (0.9%) during follow-up. The annual rate of systemic thromboembolism was 2.3% (31/1,349 patient-years), which is a 59% risk reduction. There were 15 major bleedings (1.5%) during follow-up. The annual rate of major bleeding was 2.1% (28/1,349 patient-years), which is a 61% risk reduction. Patients with single LAAO on aspirin monotherapy or no therapy and longer follow-up had fewer cerebral and fewer bleeding events.
Conclusions: In this multicentre study, LAAO with the ACP showed high procedural success and a favourable outcome for the prevention of AF-related thromboembolism. Modification in antithrombotic therapy after LAAO may result in reduction of bleeding events.