Table of Contents
Volume 2014, Article ID 832752, 6 pages
Review Article

Thromboembolism Prevention via Transcatheter Left Atrial Appendage Closure with Transeosophageal Echocardiography Guidance

1Department of Cardiology, Emory University Hospital, 1365 Clifton Road NE, Suite AT 503, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA
2Department of Cardiology, Attikon University Hospital, 1 Rimini Road, Haidari, 12462 Athens, Greece

Received 26 October 2013; Revised 26 December 2013; Accepted 3 January 2014; Published 11 February 2014

Academic Editor: Giovanni de Gaetano

Copyright © 2014 John Palios and Ioannis Paraskevaidis. 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.


Atrial fibrillation (AF) is an independent risk factor for stroke. Anticoagulation therapy has a risk of intracerebral hemorrhage. The use of percutaneous left atrial appendage (LAA) closure devices is an alternative to anticoagulation therapy. Echocardiography has a leading role in LAA closure procedure in patient selection, during the procedure and during followup. A comprehensive echocardiography study is necessary preprocedural in order to identify all the lobes of the LAA, evaluate the size of the LAA ostium, look for thrombus or spontaneous echo contrast, and evaluate atrial anatomy, including atrial septal defect and patent foramen ovale. Echocardiography is used to identify potential cardiac sources of embolism, such as atrial septal aneurysm, mitral valve disease, and aortic debris. During the LAA occlusion procedure transeosophageal echocardiography provides guidance for the transeptal puncture and monitoring during the release of the closure device. Procedure-related complications can be evaluated and acceptable device release criteria such as proper position and seating of the occluder in the LAA, compression, and stability can be assessed. Postprocedural echocardiography is used for followup to assess the closure of the LAA ostium. This overview paper describes the emerging role of LAA occlusion procedure with transeosophageal echocardiography guidance as an alternative to anticoagulation therapy in patients with AF.