Left Atrial Appendage Closure for Atrial Fibrillation Is Safe and Effective After Intracranial or Intraocular Hemorrhage
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BACKGROUND: Atrial fibrillation (AF) affects 1%-2% of the general population and 13% of individuals older than 80 years of age. Anticoagulation has been the mainstay therapy to reduce stroke risk. Patients with previous intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) or intraocular hemorrhage (IOH) are at increased risk of recurrence if anticoagulation is continued or initiated. Left atrial appendage (LAA) closure may obviate the need for long-term anticoagulation in these patients. METHODS: We report our consecutive series of patients with nonvalvular AF with previous ICH or IOH who underwent LAA closure with the AMPLATZER Cardiac Plug (ACP; St Jude Medical, St Paul, MN), AMPLATZER Amulet, or WATCHMAN (Boston Scientific, Natick, MA) device. Demographics, clinical status, procedural outcomes, and complications were collected at baseline, during the procedure, at 3 months, at 1 year, and annually thereafter. RESULTS: Twenty-six patients with previous ICH (n = 24) or IOH (n = 2) underwent LAA closure (9 with the ACP, 3 with the Amulet, and 7 with the WATCHMAN). The mean age was 76 ± 7 years, and 61.5% were men with a mean CHADS2 (Congestive Heart Failure, Hypertension, Age, Diabetes, Stroke/Transient Ischemic Attack) score of 3.2 ± 1.4 and CHA2DS2-VASc (Congestive Heart Failure, Hypertension, Age [≥ 75 years], Diabetes, Stroke/Transient Ischemic Attack, Vascular Disease, Age [65-74 years], Sex [Female] score) of 4.9 ± 1.7. No procedure-related complications occurred. Mean follow-up was 11.9 ± 13.3 months. One patient died at 13 months (this death was not related to the procedure), and 1 patient had a transient ischemic attack at 20.6 months after the procedure. No ischemic stroke, haemorrhagic stroke, or bleeding problems occurred during follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: In our consecutive series, LAA closure was found to be safe and effective in patients with AF and a history of ICH or IOH.
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