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Is left atrial appendage occlusion useful for prevention of stroke or embolism in atrial fibrillation?



Is left atrial appendage occlusion useful for prevention of stroke or embolism in atrial fibrillation?



Zeitschrift fuer Kardiologie 91(5): 376-379



Since in atrial fibrillation more than 90% of the thrombi are located in the left atrial appendage, an "elimination" of the left atrial appendage, either by resection or occlusion, seems an attractive alternative to oral anticoagulation. Although frequently regarded as an useless appendage, data from animal and human investigations show that the left atrial appendage may play an important role in the maintenance and regulation of the cardiac function, especially in arterial hypertension, atrial fibrillation, coronary heart disease, valvular heart disease and heart failure. Elimination of the left atrial appendage may impede thirst in hypovolemia, deteriorate hemodynamic responses to volume or pressure overload, decrease cardiac output and promote heart failure. Instead of preventing stroke, the consequences of left atrial appendage elimination may create new risk factors for stroke and thus might induce more harm than benefit to patients with atrial fibrillation. As long as the physiologic and pathophysiologic role of the left atrial appendage is not fully understood, left atrial appendage elimination should not be an alternative to oral anticoagulation.

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Accession: 010887002

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 12132283

DOI: 10.1007/s00392-002-0818-y


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