This study sought to investigate clinical outcomes associated with left atrial appendage occlusion (LAAO) versus direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) in patients with high-risk atrial fibrillation (AF)..
..Patients with AF enrolled in the Amulet Observational Registry (n = 1,088) who had successful LAAO with the Amplatzer Amulet device (n = 1,078) were compared with a propensity score–matched control cohort of incident AF patients (n = 1,184) treated by DOACs identified from Danish national patient registries. Propensity score matching was based on the covariates of the CHA2DS2-VASc (congestive heart failure, hypertension, age ≥75 years, diabetes mellitus, prior stroke or transient ischemic attack or thromboembolism, vascular disease, age 65–74 years, sex category) and HAS-BLED (hypertension, abnormal renal or liver function, stroke, bleeding, labile international normalized ratio, elderly, drugs or alcohol) scores for predicting stroke and bleeding.
The primary outcome was a composite of ischemic stroke, major bleeding (Bleeding Academic Research Consortium ≥3), or all-cause mortality, and follow-up was 2 years.
AF patients treated with LAAO had a significantly lower risk of the primary composite outcome as compared with patients treated with DOACs (hazard ratio [HR]: 0.57; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.49 to 0.67). Total events and event rates per 100 patient-years were (LAAO vs. DOACs) 256 vs. 461 and 14.5 vs. 25.7, respectively. The risk of ischemic stroke was comparable between groups (HR: 1.11; 95% CI: 0.71 to 1.75), while risk of major bleeding (HR: 0.62; 95% CI: 0.49 to 0.79) and all-cause mortality (HR: 0.53; 95% CI: 0.43 to 0.64) were significantly lower in patients treated with LAAO.
Among high-risk AF patients, LAAO in comparison with DOACs may have similar stroke prevention efficacy but lower risk of major bleeding and mortality.