Background: Cardiac computed tomography angiography (CCTA) appears to be an appropriate imaging technique for device surveillance after left atrial appendage occlusion (LAAO). However the available experience is limited.
Aims: To determine the prevalence, mechanisms and clinical impact of left atrial appendage (LAA) patency and device-related thrombosis (DRT) following LAAO utilising a novel CCTA-based classification.
Methods: Consecutively enrolled patients who underwent LAAO with Amplatzer device were followed-up with CCTA. Mechanisms and frequency of residual patency were evaluated and correlated with clinical events. Atrial-side device thrombus, device positioning and presence of signs of device stability were also analysed.
Results: 137 patients were included. LAA patency was observed in 56.9% (n=78). Mechanisms and frequency of patency were: malapposition of proximal segment of the device lobe (55.1%), peri-device leak (PDL, 34.6%) and fabric permeability (5.8%). Lobe-LAA axis misalignment was the only independent predictor of device patency after LAAO (HR: 38.3; 95% CI: 13.6 - 107.0; p<0.001). After a median follow-up of 638 days, patency was not associated with an increased risk of death (all-cause or cardiovascular death) or cerebral/peripheral embolism regardless of its mechanism. Any degree of hypo-attenuated thickening was found in 16.8% (n=23) of patients; of which 16 (11.7%) had low-grade HAT and 7 patients (5.1%) had high-grade HAT or definite DRT. Complete sealing was associated with increased rates of low-grade HAT.
Conclusions: LAA patency on CCTA follow-up is a frequent phenomenon due to malapposition of the proximal segment of the device lobe, PDL or fabric permeability. Patency was not associated with adverse outcomes. Low-grade HAT may be related to a benign, uneventful, endothelialisation process favored by complete LAAO.