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Whereas the left atrial appendage plays a rather minor role under physiological circumstances, it gains an importance in patients with atrial fibrillation. Compelling evidence has revealed that the left atrial appendage is implicated as the source of thrombus in the vast majority of strokes in atrial fibrillation. Oral anticoagulation remains the standard of care for stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation; nevertheless, this treatment has several limitations and is often contraindicated, particularly in the elderly population in whom the risk of stroke is high. Therefore, occluding the left atrial appendage is a logical approach to prevent thrombus formation and subsequent cardioembolic events in these patients. We present a review of clinical outcomes of patients with atrial fibrillation undergoing left atrial appendage closure and the challenges faced in this field.
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- Left atrial appendage closure: outcomes and challenges
H. S. Suradi
Z. M. Hijazi
- Bohn Stafleu van Loghum