Endocardial Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion and its Place in Contemporary Management of Atrial Fibrillation
Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common arrhythmia, affecting 1-2% of the general population in Western countries and it is a well-known risk factor for cardioembolic ischemic stroke, which increases the risk 4 to 5 times. Stroke is responsible for 14% of all annual deaths and every year 8 million people suffer a stroke in European countries. The standard stroke preventive strategy in patients with AF is the administration of anticoagulants. However, contraindications to these agents are not rare, the use of anticoagulants, especially the vitamin-K antagonists, is quantitatively sub-optimal, and many patients with high thromboembolic risk also have increased bleeding risk. Considering that the most frequent location of intracardiac thrombi associated with AF is the left atrial appendage (LAA), the endocardial occlusion of this structure has emerged as a potential alternative treatment. Rhythmos 2022;17(1): 100-104.
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