BACKGROUND: This study aimed to compare percutaneous left atrial appendage occlusion (LAAO) with non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants among patients with atrial fibrillation. METHODS AND RESULTS: Using a US administrative database, 562 850 patients with atrial fibrillation were identified, among whom 8397 were treated with LAAO and 554 453 were treated with non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants between March 13, 2015 and December 31, 2018. Propensity score overlap weighting was used to balance baseline characteristics. The primary outcome was a composite end point of ischemic stroke or systemic embolism, major bleeding, and all-cause mortality. The mean age was 76.4±7.6 years; 280 097 (49.8%) were female. Mean follow-up was 1.5±1.0 years. LAAO was associated with no significant difference in the risk of the primary composite end point (hazard ratio [HR], 0.93 [0.84–1.03]), or the secondary outcomes including ischemic stroke/systemic embolism (HR, 1.07 [0.81–1.41]), and intracranial bleeding (HR, 1.08 [0.72–1.61]). LAAO was associated with a higher risk of major bleeding (HR, 1.22 [1.05–1.42], P=0.01) and a lower risk of mortality (HR, 0.73 [0.64–0.84], P<0.001). The lower risk of mortality associated with LAAO was most pronounced in patients with a prior history of intracranial bleeding. CONCLUSIONS: In comparison to non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants, LAAO was associated with no significant difference in the risk of the composite outcome and a lower risk of mortality, which suggests LAAO might be a reasonable option in select patients with atrial fibrillation. The observation of higher bleeding risk associated with LAAO highlights the need to optimize postprocedural antithrombotic regimens as well as systematic efforts to assess and address bleeding predispositions.
- atrial fibrillation
- left atrial appendage occlusion
- oral anticoagulant
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine