Chronic Percutaneous Epicardial Appendage Closure. Objectives: To assess the chronic safety and feasibility of percutaneous epicardial closure of the left atrial appendage (LAA) guided by electrical navigation. Background: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is associated with stroke, and LAA occlusion may be a useful nonpharmacologic strategy for stroke prevention in AF. Methods: Percutaneous epicardial access was obtained in 6 dogs under general anesthesia. The ligation system included a grabber that captures the LAA guided by local electrograms (EGMs) and a looped hollow suture preloaded with a central wire enabling control and visualization. After a satisfactory position is confirmed the loop is tightened remotely, and the suture cut. Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) assessed LAA dimensions and flow. LAA EGMs were recorded pre- and postclosure, and neurohormonal markers measured. Pathologic examination was performed. Results: LAA ligation was successful in all dogs. LAA flow was immediately abolished in 5 of 6 dogs. Disappearance of local LAA EGMs following ligation was observed in all animals. Follow-up TEE at mean 54 days (range 23-75 days) documented residual flow in only the first 2 dogs. Prior to necropsy the LAA was examined at thoracotomy in 3 animals. Following a minor design change, complete closure and fibrosis with a remnant atretic LAA was noted in all animals. No damage to adjacent structures was noted. Neurohormonal markers were unchanged. Conclusion: Percutaneous epicardial LAA ligation guided by electrical navigation is feasible with promising intermediate-term results in the canine model. The technique may be useful as an alternative to existing methods of LAA obliteration in humans.
- atrial fibrillation
- left atrial appendage
- transesophageal echocardiography
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)