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      Roles of real-time three-dimensional transesophageal echocardiography in peri-operation of transcatheter left atrial appendage closure

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          Left atrial appendage (LAA) closure is a new treatment option for the prevention of stroke in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (AF). Conventional 2-dimensional transesophageal echocardiography (2D TEE) has some limitations in the imaging assessment of LAA closure. Real-time 3-dimensional transesophageal echocardiography (RT-3D TEE) allows for detailed morphologic assessment of the LAA. In this study, we aim to determine the clinical values of RT-3D TEE in the periprocedure of LAA closure.

          Thirty-eight persistent or paroxysmal AF patients with indications for LAA closure were enrolled in this study. RT-3D TEE full volume data of the LAA were recorded before operation to evaluate the anatomic feature, the landing zone dimension, and the depth of the LAA. On this basis, selection of LAA closure device was carried out. During the procedure, RT-3D TEE was applied to guide the interatrial septal puncture, device operation, and evaluate the occlusion effects. The patients were follow-up 1 month and 3 months postclosure.

          Twenty-eight (73.7%) patients with AF received placement of LAA occlusion device under RT-3D TEE. Eleven cases with single-lobe LAAs were identified using RT-3D TEE, among which 4 showed limited depth. Seventeen cases showed bilobed or multilobed LAA. Seven cases received LAA closure using Lefort and 21 using LAmbre based on the 3D TEE and radiography. The landing zone dimension of the LAA measured by RT-3D TEE Flexi Slice mode was better correlated with the device size used for occlusion ( r = 0.90) than 2D TEE ( r = 0.88). The interatial septal puncture, the exchange of the sheath, as well as the release of the device were executed under the guidance of RT-3D TEE during the procedure. The average number of closure devices utilized for optimal plugging was (1.11 ± 0.31). There were no clinically unacceptable residual shunts, pericardial effusion, or tamponade right after occlusion. All the patients had the device well-seated and no evidence of closure related complications in the follow-up.

          Assessment of LAA morphology by RT-3D TEE contributes to the decision of device selection for the closure. 3D TEE is a reliable imaging modality to guide device operation and assess on-site closure.

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          Safety of percutaneous left atrial appendage closure: results from the Watchman Left Atrial Appendage System for Embolic Protection in Patients with AF (PROTECT AF) clinical trial and the Continued Access Registry.

          The Watchman Left Atrial Appendage System for Embolic Protection in Patients With AF (PROTECT AF) randomized trial compared left atrial appendage closure against warfarin in atrial fibrillation (AF) patients with CHADS₂ ≥1. Although the study met the primary efficacy end point of being noninferior to warfarin therapy for the prevention of stroke/systemic embolism/cardiovascular death, there was a significantly higher risk of complications, predominantly pericardial effusion and procedural stroke related to air embolism. Here, we report the influence of experience on the safety of percutaneous left atrial appendage closure. The study cohort for this analysis included patients in the PROTECT AF trial who underwent attempted device left atrial appendage closure (n=542 patients) and those from a subsequent nonrandomized registry of patients undergoing Watchman implantation (Continued Access Protocol [CAP] Registry; n=460 patients). The safety end point included bleeding- and procedure-related events (pericardial effusion, stroke, device embolization). There was a significant decline in the rate of procedure- or device-related safety events within 7 days of the procedure across the 2 studies, with 7.7% and 3.7% of patients, respectively, experiencing events (P=0.007), and between the first and second halves of PROTECT AF and CAP, with 10.0%, 5.5%, and 3.7% of patients, respectively, experiencing events (P=0.006). The rate of serious pericardial effusion within 7 days of implantation, which had made up >50% of the safety events in PROTECT AF, was lower in the CAP Registry (5.0% versus 2.2%, respectively; P=0.019). There was a similar experience-related improvement in procedure-related stroke (0.9% versus 0%, respectively; P=0.039). Finally, the functional impact of these safety events, as defined by significant disability or death, was statistically superior in the Watchman group compared with the warfarin group in PROTECT AF. This remained true whether significance was defined as a change in the modified Rankin score of ≥1, ≥2, or ≥3 (1.8 versus 4.3 events per 100 patient-years; relative risk, 0.43; 95% confidence interval, 0.24 to 0.82; 1.5 versus 3.7 events per 100 patient-years; relative risk, 0.41; 95% confidence interval, 0.22 to 0.82; and 1.4 versus 3.3 events per 100 patient-years; relative risk, 0.43; 95% confidence interval, 0.22 to 0.88, respectively). As with all interventional procedures, there is a significant improvement in the safety of Watchman left atrial appendage closure with increased operator experience. Clinical Trial Registration- URL: Unique identifier: NCT00129545.
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            Percutaneous left atrial appendage closure vs warfarin for atrial fibrillation: a randomized clinical trial.

            While effective in preventing stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), warfarin is limited by a narrow therapeutic profile, a need for lifelong coagulation monitoring, and multiple drug and diet interactions.
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              Left atrial appendage studied by computed tomography to help planning for appendage closure device placement.

              To quantitatively study various morphologic parameters of the left atrial appendage (LAA) by computed tomography (CT) to aid the preoperative planning and implantation of left atrial appendage closure devices. In 612 cases of patients with or without atrial fibrillation (AF), a cardiac CT study was performed. The classification of general LAA morphology included ChickenWing type (18.3%), WindSock (46.7%), Cauliflower type (29.1%), and Cactus type (5.9%). Anatomical relationship of the LAA to the left superior pulmonary vein (LSPV) were classified as high type (superior to LSPV, 30.2%), mid type (parallel to LSPV, 58.1%), and low type (inferior to LSPV, 11.7%). LAA ostium could be classified into 5 types including oval (68.9%), foot-like (10%), triangular (7.7%), water drop-like (7.7%), and round (5.7%). Two-dimensional (2D) orthogonal method was obviously not accurate for determining the LAA orifice because the measurement was often unparallel to the LAA orifice. Two-dimensional oblique method was better than 3-dimensional method in reproducibility to determine the size of LAA ostium. The diameter calculated from the perimeter of the LAA ostium was superior to the diameter from direct measurement of the LAA ostium for selecting the occluder. The morphology of the LAA and the LA ostium are extremely complex and heterogeneous. Sixty-four-channel cardiac CT could assist preoperative planning of LAA closure device placement. The diameter of the LAA ostium calculated from the perimeter is the best parameter for sizing the LAA occluder. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

                Author and article information

                Medicine (Baltimore)
                January 2017
                27 January 2017
                : 96
                : 4
                Department of Ultrasound Imaging, Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan, China.
                Author notes
                []Correspondence: Ruiqiang Guo, Department of Ultrasound Imaging, Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan, China (e-mail: ).
                MD-D-16-05760 05637
                Copyright © 2017 the Author(s). Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial License 4.0 (CCBY-NC), where it is permissible to download, share, remix, transform, and buildup the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be used commercially without permission from the journal.

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