OBJECTIVES: The French left atrial appendage (LAA) closure registry (FLAAC) aimed to assess the safety and efficacy of LAA closure in daily practice.
BACKGROUND: LAA closure has emerged as an alternative for preventing thromboembolic events (TE) in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF). Clinical data in this field remains limited and few investigator-initiated, real-world registries have been reported.
METHODS: This nationwide, prospective study was performed in 36 French centers. The primary endpoint was the TE rate after successful LAA closure.
RESULTS: The FLAAC registry included 816 patients with a mean age of 75.5 ± 0.3 years, mean follow-up of 16.0 ± 0.3 months, high TE (CHA DS -VASc score: 4.6 ± 0.1) and bleeding risks (HAS-BLED score: 3.2 ± 0.05) and common contraindications to long-term anticoagulation (95.7%). Procedure or device-related serious adverse events occurred in 49 (6.0%) patients. The annual rate of ischemic stroke/systemic embolism was 3.3% (2.4-4.6). This suggests a relative 57% reduction compared to the risk of stroke in historical NVAF populations without antithrombotic therapy. By multivariate analysis, history of TE was the only factor associated with stroke/systemic embolism during follow-up (HR, 3.3 [1.58-6.89], p = 0.001). The annual mortality rate was 10.2% (8.4-12.3). Most of the deaths were due to comorbidities or underlying cardiovascular diseases and unrelated to the device or to TE.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study suggests that LAA closure can be an option in patients with NVAF. Long-term follow-up mortality was high, mostly due to comorbidities and underlying cardiovascular diseases, highlighting the importance of multidisciplinary management after LAA closure.