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The left atrial appendage (LAA) is the main source of cardioembolic stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation without valvular disease. Oral anticoagulation (OAC) has proven effective for preventing strokes associated with atrial fibrillation but is complicated by inherent bleeding risk and therapeutic compliance. Mechanical closure of the left atrial appendage seems an attractive alternative, especially in patients for whom long-term oral anticoagulation is not a good option. In the past decade, several percutaneous techniques have become available for this, including the WATCHMAN device. Randomized trials with the WATCHMAN device suggest that closure of the left atrial appendage is not inferior to oral anticoagulation in stroke prevention and that additionally there is reduced bleeding. Prospective registry studies of patients with contraindications for oral anticoagulation confirm that closure of the left atrial appendage is an attractive alternative to anticoagulation. Ongoing investigations are focused on reducing complications of the closure procedure, the lowest form of anticoagulation, comparing existing techniques and comparing left atrial appendage closure with direct oral anticoagulants.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Nederlands tijdschrift voor geneeskunde
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Rapid, irregular atrial contractions caused by a block of electrical impulse conduction in the right atrium and a reentrant wave front traveling up the inter-atrial septum and down the right atrial free wall or vice versa. Unlike ATRIAL FIBRILLATION which is caused by abnormal impulse generation, typical atrial flutter is caused by abnormal impulse conduction. As in atrial fibrillation, patients with atrial flutter cannot effectively pump blood into the lower chambers of the heart (HEART VENTRICLES).
Impaired or delayed impulse conduction between the right and left HEART ATRIA. Advanced interatrial blocks are often associated with arrhythmias (e.g., ATRIAL FLUTTER; and ATRIAL FIBRILLATION), direct conduction block via the Bachmann's bundle and concomitant left atrial enlargement. Syndrome of advanced interatrial block associated with SUPRAVENTRICULAR TACHYCARDIA is referred to as Bayes syndrome.
A morpholine and thiophene derivative that functions as a FACTOR XA INHIBITOR and is used in the treatment and prevention of DEEP-VEIN THROMBOSIS and PULMONARY EMBOLISM. It is also used for the prevention of STROKE and systemic embolization in patients with non-valvular ATRIAL FIBRILLATION, and for the prevention of atherothrombotic events in patients after an ACUTE CORONARY SYNDROME.
Ear-shaped appendage of either atrium of the heart. (Dorland, 28th ed)
The pressure within the CARDIAC ATRIUM. It can be measured directly by using a pressure catheter (see HEART CATHETERIZATION). It can be also estimated using various imaging techniques or other pressure readings such as PULMONARY CAPILLARY WEDGE PRESSURE (an estimate of left atrial pressure) and CENTRAL VENOUS PRESSURE (an estimate of right atrial pressure).
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