Objective: Occlusion of the left atrial appendage is proposed to reduce the risk of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation. The third-generation atrial exclusion device, modified to provide uniform distribution of pressure at appendage exclusion, was assessed for safety and effectiveness in a canine model and compared with a surgical stapler. Methods: The atrial exclusion device consists of 2 parallel, straight, rigid titanium tubes and 2 nitinol springs with a knit-braided polyester fabric. Fourteen mongrel dogs were implanted with the device at the base of the left atrial appendage via a median sternotomy. In each dog, the right atrial appendage was stapled with a commercial apparatus for comparison. The animals were evaluated at 7 days (n = 3), 30 days (n = 5), and 90 days (n = 6) after implantation by epicardial echocardiography, left atrial and coronary angiography, gross pathology, and histology. Results: Left atrial appendage exclusion was complete and achieved without hemodynamic instability, and coronary angiography revealed that the left circumflex artery was patent in all cases. A new endothelial tissue layer developed on the occluded orifice of the left atrium 90 days after implantation. This endothelial layer was not evident on the stapled right atrial appendage. Conclusion: In dogs, the third-generation atrial exclusion device achieved easy, reliable, and safe exclusion of the left atrial appendage with favorable histologic results. Clinical application could provide a new therapeutic option for reducing the risk of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine