Diagnosis and management of left atrial appendage thrombus in patients with atrial fibrillation undergoing cardioversion or percutaneous left atrial procedures: Results of the European Heart Rhythm Association survey

Michal M. Farkowski (Coresponding Author), Kristine Jubele, Francisco Marín, Estelle Gandjbakhch, Pawel Ptaszynski, Jose L. Merino, Radoslaw Lenarczyk, Tatjana S. Potpara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Practices regarding indications and timing for transoesophageal echocardiography (TOE) before cardioversion (CV) of atrial fibrillation (AF) or left atrial (LA) interventional procedures, and preferred imaging techniques and pharmacotherapy, in cases of thrombus resistant to chronic oral anticoagulation (OAC) treatment, are largely unknown. The European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) conducted a survey to capture contemporary clinical practice in those areas of AF care. A 22-item online questionnaire was developed and distributed among the EHRA electrophysiology research network centres. The survey contained questions regarding indications, type and timing of imaging before CV or LA procedures and management of LA appendage (LAA) thrombus with special emphasis on thrombus resistant to OAC. Of 54 responding centres 63% were university hospitals. Most commonly, TOE would be performed in cases of inadequate or unclear pre-procedural anticoagulation, even in AF lasting <48 h (52% and 50%, respectively), and 15% of centres would perform TOE before AF ablation in all patients. If thrombus was diagnosed despite chronic OAC, the prevalent strategy was to change current OAC to another with different mechanism of action; 51% of centres would wait 3-4 weeks after changing the OAC before using another imaging test, and 60% of centres reported two attempts to dissolve the thrombus. Our survey showed a significant utilization of TOE before CV or AF ablation in European centres, extending beyond AF guidelines-suggested indications. When thrombus was diagnosed despite chronic pre-procedural OAC, most centres would use another anticoagulant drug with different mode of action.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-169
JournalEuropace
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020

Keywords*

  • Ablation
  • Anticoagulation
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Cardioversion
  • EHRA survey
  • Guidelines
  • Left atrial appendage
  • Stroke
  • Thrombus

Field of Science*

  • 3.2 Clinical medicine

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database

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