Vol 28, No 4 (2021)
Original Article
Published online: 2020-12-31

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Impact of conscious sedation and general anesthesia on periprocedural outcomes in Watchman left atrial appendage closure

Caroline Kleinecke1, Wasim Allakkis2, Eric Buffle3, Xiao-Xia Liu24, Yamen Mohrez2, Steffen Gloekler3, Johannes Brachmann2, Steffen Schnupp2, Stephan Achenbach5, Jiangtao Yu16
Pubmed: 33438184
Cardiol J 2021;28(4):519-527.


Background: Transcatheter left atrial appendage closure (LAAC) is performed either in conscious sedation (CS) or general anesthesia (GA), and limited data exist regarding clinical outcomes for the two approaches. The aim of the study was to analyze the effect of CS versus GA on acute outcomes in a large patient cohort undergoing LAAC with a Watchman occluder.
Methods: A cohort of 521 consecutive patients underwent LAAC with Watchman occluders at two centers (REGIOMED hospitals, Germany) between 2012 and 2018. One site performed 303 consecutive LAAC procedures in GA, and the other site performed 218 consecutive procedures in CS. The safety endpoint was a composite of major periprocedural complications and postoperative pneumonia. The efficacy endpoint was defined as device success.
Results: After a 1:1 propensity score matching, 196 (CS) vs. 115 (GA) patients could be compared. In 5 (2.6%) cases CS was converted to GA. The primary safety endpoint (3.5% [CS] vs. 7.0% [GA], p = 0.18) and its components (major periprocedural complications: 2.5% vs. 3.5%, p = 0.73; postoperative pneumonia: 2.6% vs. 4.3%, p = 0.51) did not differ between the groups. Also, device success was comparable (96.9% vs. 93.9%, p = 0.24).
Conclusions: In patients undergoing LAAC with the Watchman device, conscious sedation and general anesthesia showed comparable device success rates and safety outcomes. The type of anesthesia for LAAC may therefore be tailored to patient comorbidities, operator experience, and hospital logistics.

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