Background: Direct current cardioversion (DCCV) is a common rhythm control strategy in patients with symptomatic atrial fibrillation or flutter. There is no long-term data regarding the safety of DCCV in patients with endocardial left atrial appendage occlusion (LAAO) devices. Objectives: The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility and safety of DCCV in patients with an LAAO device. Methods: This multicenter retrospective study included 148 patients with an LAAO device who underwent DCCV for symptomatic atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter. Results: The average age of the included patients was 72 ± 7 years and 59% were men. All patients (100%) had a transesophageal echocardiogram prior to DCCV. Device-related thrombus was seen in 2.7%. They were all successfully treated with oral anticoagulation (OAC) and were able to undergo DCCV after 6 to 8 weeks. DCCV restored sinus rhythm in all patients. None of the patients had DCCV-related thromboembolic complications. A total of 22% of patients were newly started on OAC after DCCV. There was no difference in DCCV-related complications between patients treated with or without OAC post-DCCV. Patients receiving OAC post-DCCV were found to undergo cardioversion at an earlier time after implantation (3.6 months [interquartile range (IQR): 0.7 to 8.6 months] vs. 8.6 months [IQR: 2.5 to 13.3 months]; p = 0.003). Three transient ischemic attacks, unrelated to DCCV, were found during follow-up. During a median follow-up of 12.8 months (IQR: 11.8 to 14.2 months), no device or left atrial thrombosis, device dislodgement, or a new device leak were observed. One patient died during follow-up due to noncardiac cause. Conclusions: DCCV is feasible in high-risk AF patients with an LAAO device without the need for oral anticoagulation if pre-procedural transesophageal echocardiography shows good device position, absence of device-related thrombus, and peridevice leak of ≤5 mm. The preliminary results are encouraging, but further large studies are warranted to establish safety.
- direct current cardioversion
- left atrial appendage occlusion
- oral anticoagulation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine