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A Journal on Heart and Vascular Diseases

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Angiology and Vascular Pathology
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Minerva Cardioangiologica 2008 December;56(6):667-70

language: English

Left atrial appendage exclusion system for stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation: a percutaneous device delivery approach

Lerakis S. 1, Synetos A. 2

1 Department of Medicine Division of Cardiology Emory University School of Medicine Atlanta, GA, USA
2 First Department of Cardiology Hippokration Hospital University of Athens, Athens, Greece


Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a well-known predisposing factor for stroke. Most of the thrombi responsible for these ischemic events originate in the left atrial appendage. Left atrium appendage (LAA) occlusion is a potential alternative to warfarin in patients with atrial fibrillation who have contraindications to anticoagulation. The Percutaneous LAA Transcatheter Occlusion (PLAATO System, ev3 Inc., Plymouth, Minnesota) and the WATCHMAN LAA system (Atritech Inc., Plymouth, Minnesota), are currently the two devices specifically designed for LAA occlusion. Although available data are still limited, LAA occlusion is technically feasible, with good intermediate results, but its long-term safety and ability to reduce stroke incidence remains unproven. Randomized studies will clarify the usefulness of the LAA occlusion devices as an alternative treatment strategy to long-term anticoagulation.

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