Left Atrial Appendage Closure as an Alternative to Warfarin for Stroke Prevention in Atrial Fibrillation: A Patient-Level Meta-Analysis

David R. Holmes, Shephal K. Doshi, Saibal Kar, Matthew J. Price, Jose M. Sanchez, Horst Sievert, Miguel Valderrabano, Vivek Y. Reddy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

278 Scopus citations

Abstract

Abstract Background The risk-benefit ratio of left atrial appendage closure (LAAC) versus systemic therapy (warfarin) for prevention of stroke, systemic embolism, and cardiovascular death in nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF) requires continued evaluation. Objectives This study sought to assess composite data regarding left atrial appendage closure (LAAC) in 2 randomized trials compared to warfarin for prevention of stroke, systemic embolism, and cardiovascular death in patients with nonvalvular AF. Methods Our meta-analysis included 2,406 patients with 5,931 patient-years (PY) of follow-up from the PROTECT AF (Watchman Left Atrial Appendage System for Embolic Protection in Patients with Atrial Fibrillation) and PREVAIL (Prospective Randomized Evaluation of the Watchman LAA Closure Device In Patients With Atrial Fibrillation Versus Long Term Warfarin Therapy) trials, and their respective registries (Continued Access to PROTECT AF registry and Continued Access to PREVAIL registry). Results With mean follow-up of 2.69 years, patients receiving LAAC with the Watchman device had significantly fewer hemorrhagic strokes (0.15 vs. 0.96 events/100 patient-years [PY]; hazard ratio [HR]: 0.22; p = 0.004), cardiovascular/unexplained death (1.1 vs. 2.3 events/100 PY; HR: 0.48; p = 0.006), and nonprocedural bleeding (6.0% vs. 11.3%; HR: 0.51; p = 0.006) compared with warfarin. All-cause stroke or systemic embolism was similar between both strategies (1.75 vs. 1.87 events/100 PY; HR: 1.02; 95% CI: 0.62 to 1.7; p = 0.94). There were more ischemic strokes in the device group (1.6 vs. 0.9 and 0.2 vs. 1.0 events/100 PY; HR: 1.95 and 0.22, respectively; p = 0.05 and 0.004, respectively). Both trials and registries identified similar event rates and consistent device effect in multiple subsets. Conclusions In patients with NVAF at increased risk for stroke or bleeding who are candidates for chronic anticoagulation, LAAC resulted in improved rates of hemorrhagic stroke, cardiovascular/unexplained death, and nonprocedural bleeding compared to warfarin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number21282
Pages (from-to)2614-2623
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Volume65
Issue number24
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 23 2015

Keywords

  • appendage occlusion
  • long-term warfarin
  • stroke prevention
  • thromboembolism
  • warfarin alternative

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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