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20-04-2017 | Original Article - Design Study Article | Uitgave 9/2017 Open Access

Netherlands Heart Journal 9/2017

Is there an alternative treatment for patients intolerant to antiplatelet therapy if percutaneous left atrial appendage closure is considered?

Netherlands Heart Journal > Uitgave 9/2017
F. Akca, N. J. Verberkmoes, S. E. Verstraeten, C. van Laar, B. P. van Putte, A. H. M. van Straten



Left atrial appendage (LAA) closure has become of major interest for patients with atrial fibrillation intolerant to oral anticoagulation therapy (OAC). Patients with a contraindication to both OAC and antiplatelet therapy are not eligible for percutaneous LAA closure. We aimed to find an alternative treatment for these specific patients.


From March 2014 until December 2015 five patients were referred for percutaneous LAA closure. Alternative treatment was necessary due to an absolute contraindication to OAC and antiplatelet therapy (n = 4) or after previous failed percutaneous device implantation (n = 1). A stand-alone full thoracoscopic closure of the LAA using the Atriclip PRO device (AtriCure Inc., Dayton, OH, USA) was performed under guidance of transoesophageal echocardiography (TEE). After three months all patients underwent a computed tomography scan. Mean follow-up was 7.2 months [range 4.5–9.8 months].


All procedures were achieved without the occurrence of complications. Complete LAA closure was obtained in all patients without any residual flow confirmed by TEE. Postoperative computed tomography confirmed persisting adequate clip positioning with complete LAA closure and absence of intracardial thrombi. During follow-up no thromboembolic events occurred.


For atrial fibrillation patients with an absolute contraindication to OAC and antiplatelet therapy a stand-alone, minimally invasive thoracoscopic closure of the LAA is a safe and feasible alternative treatment. This might be a solution to avoid serious bleeding complications while eliminating the thromboembolic risk originating from the LAA in patients who are not eligible for percutaneous LAA closure.

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Netherlands Heart Journal

Het Netherlands Heart Journal wordt uitgegeven in samenwerking met de Nederlandse Vereniging voor Cardiologie en de Nederlandse Hartstichting. Het tijdschrift is Engelstalig en wordt gratis beschikbaa ...

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