Device related thrombus after left atrial appendage closure: State of the art

Pacing Clin Electrophysiol. 2021 Jul;44(7):1253-1258. doi: 10.1111/pace.14122. Epub 2020 Dec 10.


Atrial fibrillation (AF), the most common arrhythmia, is a major cause of stroke and systemic embolism. Patients with AF are at higher risk of stroke with the left atrial appendage (LAA) being the most common site for thrombus formation. Although oral anticoagulation (OAC) remains the standard of care for stroke prevention in AF patients, there are still several limitations, including increased risk of bleeding and noncompliance. LAA closure (LAAC) has been found to be non-inferior to OAC in preventing all-cause strokes and systemic embolisms in randomized clinical trials, and is increasingly performed for stroke prevention in patients with nonvalvular AF (NVAF). However, device-related thrombus (DRT) after LAAC and a potentially increased risk of stroke related to DRT were observed in several registered studies, and attract wide concern. This review provides a comprehensive update on the incidence, mechanism, risk factors, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of DRT after LAAC in patients with NVAF.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Atrial Appendage / surgery*
  • Atrial Fibrillation / surgery*
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures / instrumentation
  • Humans
  • Postoperative Complications / diagnosis
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology*
  • Postoperative Complications / therapy
  • Prostheses and Implants / adverse effects*
  • Thrombosis / etiology*