Closure of Left Atrial Appendage Has no Effect on Thromboembolic Rates after Mitral Valve Repair in Patients in Sinus Rhythm

Published:November 21, 2022DOI:
      Closure of the left atrial appendage (LAA) reduces the rates of TIA/stroke in patients in atrial fibrillation (AF) but its role in patients in sinus rhythm who undergo mitral valve repair (MV) for leaflet prolapse remains unknown. This study examined the effects of closing the LAA in TIA/stroke after MV repair. Our database on patients who had MV repair for leaflet prolapse from 2000 through 2019 was reviewed. After excluding patients at higher risk of TIA/stroke, 1,050 patients in sinus rhythm were entered into the study: 781 with open LAA and 269 with surgically closed LAA. Using a propensity score analysis to compensate from clinical differences, 267 pairs of patients with open and closed LAA were matched. Follow-up was truncated at 5 years because routine closure of the LAA was performed only during recent years. The cumulative incidence of TIA/stroke at 5 years in the entire cohort was 2.7% [95% CI 1.9, 4.0]; it was 2.9% [95% CI 1.9, 4.4] in patients with open LAA,and 1.8% [95% CI 0.7, 4.9] in patients with closed LAA (p = 0.53). In the matched cohorts, the cumulative incidences of TIA/stroke did not differ significantly (match-adjusted HR [95% CI] = 0.80 [0.21, 2.98], p= 0.74), and multivariable Cox proportional hazard regression analysis also confirmed no difference in the risk of TIA/stroke between the two groups (regression-adjusted HR [95% CI] = 0.58 [0.12, 2.9], p= 0.47). This study failed to show a reduction in the risk of TIA/stroke by closing the LAA in patients in sinus rhythm (Figure 6). Closure of the LAA during MV repair warrants a larger and more rigorous study.

      Graphical abstract



      AF (atrial fibrillation), MV (mitral valve), LAA (left atrial appendage), MR (mitral regurgitation), TIA (transient ischemic attack), TEE (transesophageal echocardiography)
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