ACC: Non-Phamacologic Technique Helps Prevent Stroke in Atrial Fibrillation Patients

ATLANTA, GA — March 18, 2002 — The first clinical trial to test transcatheter closure of the left atrial appendage (PLAATO) in humans shows the technique is feasible.

Dr. Horst Sievert, with the Cardiovascular Center Bethanien in Frankfurt, Germany, reported the findings here yesterday at the 51st Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Cardiology (ACC).

The PLAATO technique, which occludes the left atrial appendage (LAA), was designed to prevent embolic stroke.

Dr. Sievert's group attempted the use of PLAATO in four patients with atrial fibrillation who were poor candidates for long-term warfarin therapy (for example, they had a history or risk of bleeding, risk of falling, poor cooperation, unstable international normalized ratios, etc.). Patients also had at least one additional risk factor for stroke in atrial fibrillation, such as history of stroke or transient ischemic attack, recent history of heart failure or left ventricular ejection fraction less than 40 percent, history of hypertension, diabetes, age 65 years or greater, and coronary artery disease.

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