Combined catheter ablation and left atrial appendage closure as a hybrid procedure for the treatment of atrial fibrillation
Catheter ablation
Atrial fibrillation
Left atrial appendage closure
Oral anticoagulation
Issue Date: 
Oxford Academic
Open Access
Calvo, N. (Naiara); Salterain-González, N. (Nahikari); Arguedas, H. (Hugo); et al. "Combined catheter ablation and left atrial appendage closure as a hybrid procedure for the treatment of atrial fibrillation". European Society of Cardiology. 17 (10), 2015, 1533 - 1540
Aims: Left atrial appendage (LAA) is the source of thrombi in up to 90% of patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AF). Catheter ablation (CA) is an effective treatment for symptomatic AF and, in selected cases, LAA occlusion devices have been introduced as an alternative to oral anticoagulants (OACs). The safety and feasibility of combining CA and percutaneous LAA closure (LAAC) are unknown. Methods and results: Patients with symptomatic drug-refractory AF, CHADS2 score of ≥1, and CHA2DS2-VASc score ≥2 were included. Catheter ablation consisted in pulmonary vein isolation with or without roof line with radiofrequency and LAA was occluded with the Watchman or Amplatzer Cardiac Plug (ACP) devices guided by angiography and transoesophageal echocardiography. A total of 35 patients were included (71% male; 70 years). Median score was 3 on both CHA2DS2-VASc and HAS-BLED, 9% had prior stroke under OAC, and 48% had bleeding complications. Successful CA and device implantation were achieved in 97% of cases. The Watchman device was used in 29 patients and ACP in 6 patients. Periprocedural complications included three cases of cardiac tamponade. At 3 months, all patients met the criteria for successful sealing of the LAA. After a mean follow-up of 13 months (3-75), 78% of patients were free of arrhythmia recurrences and OAC was withheld in 97% of patients. Conclusions: The combination of CA and percutaneous LAAC in a single procedure is technically feasible in patients with symptomatic drug-refractory AF, high risk of stroke, and contraindications to OACs, although it is associated with a significant risk of major complications.

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