Int J Cardiol Heart Vasc. 2022 Apr 26;40:100998. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcha.2022.100998. eCollection 2022 Jun.
Surgical left atrial appendage occlusion (LAAO) is being used increasingly in the setting of atrial fibrillation but has been associated with procedural complications. This systematic review and meta-analysis compared the outcomes of surgical LAAO with those of no LAAO and the use of direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) and vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) using the PRISMA guidelines. A literature search was undertaken for relevant studies published between January 1, 2003, and August 15, 2021. Primary clinical outcomes were all-cause mortality, embolic events, and stroke. Secondary clinical outcomes included major adverse cardiac events (MACE), postoperative atrial fibrillation, postoperative complications, reoperation for bleeding, and major bleeding. There was a statistically significant 34% reduction in incidence of embolic events (odds ratio [OR] 0.66, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.57-0.77, p < 0.001) and a significant 42% reduction in risk of MACE (OR 0.58, 95% CI 0.38-0.88, p = 0.01) in patients who underwent LAAO.Surgical LAAO has the potential to reduce embolic events and MACE in patients undergoing cardiac surgery for atrial fibrillation. However, complete replacement of DOACs and warfarin therapy with surgical LAAO is unlikely despite its non-inferiority in terms of minimizing all-cause mortality, embolic events, MACE, major bleeding, and stroke in patients on oral anticoagulation therapies.