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Percutaneous closure of secundum atrial septal defect with a new self centring device (“angel wings”)


Objective To investigate the safety, efficacy, and clinical application of a new self centring device (“angel wings”) for closure of secundum atrial septal defects (ASD II) and persistent foramen ovale in all age groups.

Design Multicentre, prospective, non-randomised study.

Patients Inclusion criteria: defects with an occlusive diameter of ⩽ 20 mm and a surrounding rim of > 4 mm; body weight > 10 kg; and an indication for surgical closure of secundum atrial septal defect. Additionally, there were compassionate indications for closure in patients with persistent foramen ovale.

Interventions Defects were closed by a transcatheter device consisting of two square frames made of superelastic nitinol wire. The frames are covered by elastic polyester fabric, which is sewn together at a central circle. All procedures, except for three interventions that were carried out under sedation, were performed under general anaesthesia using transoesophageal echocardiography and fluoroscopy to monitor intervention.

Results Closure was attempted in 75 (71%) of 105 patients. An ASD II was present in 35 children and 15 adults. A persistent foramen ovale was present in 25 adults with suspected paradoxical embolism. Transcatheter closure was unsuccessful in three children and crossover to surgery was required. Residual shunts were found in 20 patients (27%) immediately after the procedure. A transient atrioventricular third degree block occurred in three patients (4%) and the right atrial disk was not fully deployed in three. A minor shunt (< 3 mm) was present in only three (4%) of 72 patients during follow up of 1–17 months. Blood clots on the right atrial disks in two patients (one required lysis) were seen during follow up transoesophageal echocardiography. Serious complications demanding surgical removal of the device occurred in three patients. One patient had haemopericardial tamponade because of an aortic lesion. Left atrial thrombus formation due to an unfolded right atrial disk was found in a second patient and dislodgement of the left atrial disk resulted in a large residual shunt in a third.

Conclusions Percutaneous closure of a central ASD with a diameter ⩽ 20 mm in paediatric and adult patients is feasible and effective with this new device. It is a promising alternative to surgical closure. Modifications of the design, however, seem to be mandatory as 4% of patients developed serious complications.

  • secundum atrial septal defect
  • persistent foramen ovale
  • interventional cardiology
  • transcatheter occlusion

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