Combined atrial fibrillation ablation and left atrial appendage occlusion procedure in the United States: a propensity score matched analysis from 2016-2019 national readmission database

Author Department

Hematology/Oncology; Internal Medicine

Document Type

Article, Peer-reviewed

Publication Date



Aims: The safety and feasibility of combining percutaneous catheter ablation (CA) for atrial fibrillation with left atrial appendage occlusion (LAAO) as a single procedure in the USA have not been investigated. We analyzed the US National Readmission Database (NRD) to investigate the incidence of combined LAAO + CA and compare major adverse cardiovascular events (MACEs) with matched LAAO-only and CA-only patients.

Methods and results: In this retrospective study from NRD data, we identified patients undergoing combined LAAO and CA procedures on the same day in the USA from 2016 to 2019. A 1:1 propensity score match was performed to identify patients undergoing LAAO-only and CA-only procedures. The number of LAAO + CA procedures increased from 28 (2016) to 119 (2019). LAAO + CA patients (n = 375, mean age 74 ± 9.2 years, 53.4% were males) had non-significant higher MACE (8.1%) when compared with LAAO-only (n = 407, 5.3%) or CA-only patients (n = 406, 7.4%), which was primarily driven by higher rate of pericardial effusion (4.3%). All-cause 30-day readmission rates among LAAO + CA patients (10.7%) were similar when compared with LAAO-only (12.7%) or CA-only (17.5%) patients. The most frequent primary reason for readmissions among LAAO + CA and LAAO-only cohorts was heart failure (24.6 and 31.5%, respectively), while among the CA-only cohort, it was paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (25.7%).

Conclusion: We report an 63% annual growth (from 28 procedures) in combined LAAO and CA procedures in the USA. There were no significant difference in MACE and all-cause 30-day readmission rates among LAAO + CA patients compared with matched LAAO-only or CA-only patients.

Keywords: CA – Percutaneous Catheter-directed Atrial Fibrillation Ablation; LAAO – Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion; MACE – Major Adverse Cardiovascular Events; NRD – National Readmission Database.