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Curr Opin Neurol. 2008 Feb;21(1):64-9. doi: 10.1097/WCO.0b013e3282f419b6.

Interventional treatments for stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation with emphasis upon the WATCHMAN device.

Author information

1
Department of Internal Medicine/Cardiology, Universität Leipzig, Herzzentrum GmbH, Leipzig, Germany. moes@medizin.uni-leipzig.de

Abstract

PURPOSE OF REVIEW:

Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability worldwide. Many strokes occur in patients with atrial fibrillation. Current guidelines recommend an antithrombotic regimen with warfarin to prevent thromboembolism in atrial fibrillation; however, a substantial number of patients are not eligible for this therapy. The exclusion of the left atrial appendage from circulation seems to be an alternative strategy for stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation. The review focuses on the different devices for stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation.

RECENT FINDINGS:

Recently, two devices developed for percutaneous transcatheter occlusion of the left atrial appendage have been studied: the PLAATO (Percutaneous Left Atrial Appendage Transcatheter Occlusion) device and the WATCHMAN device. Safety and feasibility data are available for both devices. About 200 patients have received a PLAATO device. These patients were at high risk for thrombembolic stroke and were not candidates for oral anticoagulation therapy. The WATCHMAN device was implanted in 75 patients that were eligible for long-term anticoagulation therapy with a moderate risk for thrombembolic stroke due to nonvalvular atrial fibrillation.

SUMMARY:

For both devices, a reduction in the risk of stroke was documented, and device implantation was shown to be safe and feasible. Provided the ongoing trials show noninferiority to oral anticoagulation, another therapeutic option will become available to prevent ischemic strokes.

PMID:
18180653
DOI:
10.1097/WCO.0b013e3282f419b6
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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