True Efficacy of LAA Closure: Patient Outcomes on Long-term Single-Antiplatelet or No Therapy: Insights From the EWOLUTION Registry
Paitazoglou C., Bergmann MW., Ince H., Kische S., Romanov A., Schmitz T., Schmidt B., Gori T., Meincke F., Protopopov AV., Betts T., Vireca E., Wohlmuth P., Boersma L.
BACKGROUND: Left atrial appendage occlusion (LAAO) is recommended for patients with atrial fibrillation at increased stroke risk, where effective long-term oral anticoagulation (OAC) is not feasible. In order to assess long-term safety of LAAO with aspirin monotherapy or no therapy, we aimed to report on patients with the Watchman LAAO device (Boston Scientific) once postimplantation intensified antiplatelet or anticoagulation therapy is discontinued. METHODS: A total of 1025 patients scheduled for elective LAAO therapy prospectively consented for participation in the EWOLUTION registry; 1005 patients received a successful implant and were followed for 2 years. We identified 766 patients in EWOLUTION on single-antiplatelet therapy (SAPT; n = 639) or no therapy (n = 127) for ≥1 year following LAAO. RESULTS: Three to 6 months after LAAO, 766 patients were switched to SAPT or no therapy and were followed for at least 1 year until the study's conclusion or with events while on SAPT/ no therapy; mean time on SAPT/no therapy was 536.56 ± 177.59 days. Patients experienced 1.4 ischemic strokes per 100 patient years (PY) despite a CHA2DS2-VASC score of 4.3 ± 1.6. Major nonprocedural bleeding rates were low, with 1.3 major bleeds per 100 PY with a mean HAS-BLED score of 2.2 ± 1.2. Furthermore, the ischemic stroke rate in the SAPT/no-therapy subgroup was similar to the whole EWOLUTION collective and high-risk subgroups; the bleeding rate was even lower. When analyzed separately, strokes (2.1/100 PY) and bleedings (1.4/100 PY) of the no-therapy subgroup were similar to patients on SAPT (strokes 0.7/100 PY [P=.70]; bleedings 1.4/100 PY [P=.90]). CONCLUSIONS: Outcome data of patients on SAPT/no therapy for ≥1 year following Watchman implantation in the EWOLUTION registry suggest the efficacy and safety of LAAO.