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Am Heart J. 2005 Aug;150(2):288-93.

Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion Study (LAAOS): results of a randomized controlled pilot study of left atrial appendage occlusion during coronary bypass surgery in patients at risk for stroke.

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  • 1McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.



This pilot study assessed the safety and efficacy of left atrial appendage (LAA) occlusion, performed at the time of coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG).


At the time of CABG, 77 patients with risk factors for stroke were randomized to LAA occlusion or control. The LAA was occluded using sutures or a stapling device. Completeness of occlusion was assessed with transesophageal echocardiography. There were no significant differences in cardiopulmonary bypass duration, perioperative heart failure, atrial fibrillation, or bleeding between the 2 groups. During surgery, there were 9 appendage tears, all of which were repaired easily with sutures. Among patients having a postoperative transesophageal echocardiography, complete occlusion of the LAA was achieved in 45% (5/11) of cases using sutures and in 72% (24/33) using a stapler, P = .14. The rate of LAA occlusion by individual surgeons increased from 43% (9/21) to 87% (20/23) after performing 4 cases (P = .0001). After a mean follow-up of 13 +/- 7 months, 2.6% of patients had thromboembolic events.


LAA occlusion at the time of CABG is safe. The rate of complete occlusion improves, to acceptable levels, with increased experience and the use of a stapling device. A large trial is needed to determine if LAA occlusion prevents stroke.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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