Left atrial appendage closure devices

Last revised by Ashesh Ishwarlal Ranchod on 20 Feb 2023

Left atrial appendage (LAA) closure devices are implantable cardiac devices which are placed in the left atrial appendage for stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation who have contraindications to pharmacological anticoagulation. Depending on the device they may be inserted percutaneously or though minimally invasive or open surgery. 

Left atrial appendage closure devices occlude the LAA, thereby sealing it off to the blood circulating through the left atrium therefore reducing the risk of thromboembolism from the left atrial appendage 1,2. The Watchman device has shown non-inferiority compared to pharmacological anticoagulation for stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation 3.

Some of the devices available include 1:

  • Watchman device
    • resembles deployed round parachute and consists of titanium frame and plastic cap
  • AtriClip®
    • resembles hair pin 
  • Plaato®
    • consists of cage and occlusion membrane
  • Amplatzer® Amulet
  • Amplatzer® Cardiac Plug
  • Ultraseal®
    • consists of two components - bulb and sail, characteristic appearance of the bulb resembling king's hat may help to distinguish it from other left appendage occlusion devices. 

A left atrial appendage closure device should be visible over the expected position of the left atrial appendage. A device that is not visible here could signify migration or improper positioning 3.

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: Amplatzer occluder
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  • Case 2: Watchman device
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  • Case 3: AtriClip device
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  • Case 4: Amplatzer Amulet left atrial appendage occluder
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