Predictors of Device-Related Thrombus Following Percutaneous Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2021 Jul 27;78(4):297-313. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2021.04.098.


Background: Device-related thrombus (DRT) has been considered an Achilles' heel of left atrial appendage occlusion (LAAO). However, data on DRT prediction remain limited.

Objectives: This study constructed a DRT registry via a multicenter collaboration aimed to assess outcomes and predictors of DRT.

Methods: Thirty-seven international centers contributed LAAO cases with and without DRT (device-matched and temporally related to the DRT cases). This study described the management patterns and mid-term outcomes of DRT and assessed patient and procedural predictors of DRT.

Results: A total of 711 patients (237 with and 474 without DRT) were included. Follow-up duration was similar in the DRT and no-DRT groups, median 1.8 years (interquartile range: 0.9-3.0 years) versus 1.6 years (interquartile range: 1.0-2.9 years), respectively (P = 0.76). DRTs were detected between days 0 to 45, 45 to 180, 180 to 365, and >365 in 24.9%, 38.8%, 16.0%, and 20.3% of patients. DRT presence was associated with a higher risk of the composite endpoint of death, ischemic stroke, or systemic embolization (HR: 2.37; 95% CI, 1.58-3.56; P < 0.001) driven by ischemic stroke (HR: 3.49; 95% CI: 1.35-9.00; P = 0.01). At last known follow-up, 25.3% of patients had DRT. Discharge medications after LAAO did not have an impact on DRT. Multivariable analysis identified 5 DRT risk factors: hypercoagulability disorder (odds ratio [OR]: 17.50; 95% CI: 3.39-90.45), pericardial effusion (OR: 13.45; 95% CI: 1.46-123.52), renal insufficiency (OR: 4.02; 95% CI: 1.22-13.25), implantation depth >10 mm from the pulmonary vein limbus (OR: 2.41; 95% CI: 1.57-3.69), and non-paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (OR: 1.90; 95% CI: 1.22-2.97). Following conversion to risk factor points, patients with ≥2 risk points for DRT had a 2.1-fold increased risk of DRT compared with those without any risk factors.

Conclusions: DRT after LAAO is associated with ischemic events. Patient- and procedure-specific factors are associated with the risk of DRT and may aid in risk stratification of patients referred for LAAO.

Keywords: ACP; Amplatzer cardiac plug; Amulet; DRT; LAAO; Watchman; Watchman FLX; device-related thrombus; left atrial appendage occlusion.