Objective There is limited evidence regarding the effectiveness of left atrial appendage (LAA) closure during surgical ablation of atrial fibrillation (AF) in yielding superior clinical outcomes. This study aimed to evaluate the association of LAA closure versus preservation with the risk of adverse clinical outcomes among patients undergoing surgical ablation during cardiac surgery.
Methods We evaluated 1640 patients (aged 58.8±11.5 years, 898 women) undergoing surgical ablation during cardiac surgery (including mitral valve (MV), n=1378; non-MV, n=262) between 2001 and 2018. Of these, 804 had LAA preserved, and the remaining 836 underwent LAA closure. Comparative risks of stroke and mortality between the two groups were evaluated after adjustments with inverse-probability-of-treatment weighting (IPTW). Longitudinal echocardiographic data (n=9674, 5.9/patient) on transmitral A-wave and E/A-wave ratio were analysed by random coefficient models.
Results Adjustment with IPTW yielded patient cohorts well-balanced for baseline profiles. During a median follow-up of 43.5 months (IQR 19.0–87.3 months), stroke and death occurred in 87 and 249 patients, respectively. The adjusted risk of stroke (HR 0.85; 95% CI 0.52–1.39) and mortality (HR 0.80; 95% CI 0.61 to 1.05) did not differ significantly between the two groups. Echocardiographic data demonstrated higher transmitral A-wave velocity (group-year interaction, p=0.066) and lower E/A-wave ratio (group-year interaction, p=0.045) in the preservation group than in the closure group.
Conclusions LAA preservation during surgical AF ablation was not associated with an increased risk of stroke or mortality. Postoperative LA transport functions were more favourable with LAA preservation than with LAA closure.
- atrial fibrillation
- cardiac surgical procedures
Data availability statement
All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.
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Contributors Study concept and design: HJK, JBK; data acquisition and outcome measure: HJK, DHC, KK, JKK; data analysis and interpretation: HJK, JBK, SOK; manuscript drafting: HJK, JBK; critical review and revision: HJK, JBK, SHJ, JWL; approval of final version: HJK, JBK, SOK, SHJ, DHC, KK, JKK and JWL. JBK is responsible for the overall content of the study as aguarantor
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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