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Cardiology Research and Practice
Volume 2011, Article ID 752808, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.4061/2011/752808
Review Article

Left Atrial Appendage Closure in Atrial Fibrillation: A World without Anticoagulation?

1Department of Medicine, Michigan State University, B301 Clinical Center, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
2Department of Rheumatologic and Immunologic Diseases, Center for Vasculitis Care and Research, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA

Received 20 December 2010; Accepted 1 February 2011

Academic Editor: Adrian Baranchuk

Copyright © 2011 Tahmeed Contractor and Atul Khasnis. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Atrial Fibrillation (AF) is a common arrhythmia with an incidence that is as high as 10% in the elderly population. Given the large proportion of strokes caused by AF as well as the associated morbidity and mortality, reducing stroke burden is the most important part of AF management. While warfarin significantly reduces the risk of AF-related stroke, perceived bleeding risks and compliance limit its widespread use in the high-risk AF population. The left atrial appendage is believed to be the “culprit” for thrombogenesis in nonvalvular AF and is a new therapeutic target for stroke prevention. The purpose of this review is to explore the evolving field of percutaneous LAA occlusion. After briefly highlighting the risk of stroke with AF, problems with warfarin, and the role of the LAA in clot formation, this article discusses the feasibility and efficacy of various devices which have been developed for percutaneous LAA occlusion.