Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common arrhythmia worldwide. Thromboembolism from the left atrial appendage (LAA) is the most feared complication in patients with AF. The cornerstone for the management of AF is oral anticoagulation to reduce the incidence of cardioembolic stroke. There is, however, a significant proportion of patients who cannot undergo long-term oral anticoagulation. Transcatheter LAA occlusion is an evolving technology with proven benefits in terms of AF-related stroke prevention, representing a valid alternative to anticoagulation for high-risk patients with contraindications for long-term oral anticoagulation. This has resulted in the development of a plethora of transcatheter devices to achieve endocardial occlusion or epicardial exclusion of the LAA.A panel of expert Italian cardiologists gathered under the aegis of the Italian Society of Interventional Cardiology (SICI-GISE) with the aim of reviewing the most relevant aspects of LAA occlusion, underlying anatomy and pathophysiology, summarizing current clinical knowledge, and discussing the practicalities of available devices and imaging techniques. Finally, the position paper highlights the importance of an adequate environment and of an appropriate organization in order to optimize all steps of the procedure.
Reference: Italian Society of Interventional Cardiology (SICI-GISE) Position paper: Transcatheter left atrial appendage occlusion in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation.
Berti S, Tondo C, Basso C, Gaspardone A, Golino P, Meucci F, Montorfano M, Parodi G, Russo F, Saia F, Cardaioli F, Santoro G, Rapacciuolo A, Tondo A, Esposito G, Tarantini G.
G Ital Cardiol (Rome). 2022 Feb;23(2):136-154.