Objective: Little is known about left atrial appendage occlusion (LAAO) with WATCHMAN device in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) in China. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the acute procedural performance and complication rate of LAAO procedures and patient selection in China.
Methods: A total of 658 consecutive Chinese patients who were referred to receive LAAO procedures with the WATCHMAN device between 2014 and 2017 were retrospectively included in the study. Patients were divided into four groups according to the year of procedures: Group 2014, Group 2015, Group 2016, and Group 2017. The procedural success, complication rates, and characteristics of Chinese patients, as well as the trends of patients’ selection and management, were analyzed.
Results: The average age of the patients was 67.7±9.2 years, the CHA2DS2-VASc score was 3.7±1.6, and the HAS-BLED score was 2.5±1.1. Both scores of patients in different years show obvious increasing trends (r=0.126, p=0.001 and r=0.145, p<0.001, respectively). Indications for LAAO included increased bleeding risk (45.6%), recent bleeding under oral anticoagulation (OAC) (9.0%), and non-compliance with OAC (51.4%). The implantation was successful in 643 (97.7%) patients, with a procedural complication rate of 0.6%. Approximately 80.1% of the patients received OAC after LAAO.
Conclusion: In China, LAAO with WATCHMAN devices in patients with AF can be performed successfully with a low complication rate. Most of the target population had increased bleeding risk or non-compliance for OAC as indications and received OAC for antithrombotic therapy after the procedure.