A review of the LARIAT device: insights from the cumulative clinical experience
© Srivastava et al. 2015
Received: 2 July 2015
Accepted: 28 August 2015
Published: 17 September 2015
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common arrhythmic disorder world-wide, accounting for 15 % of all strokes. Management of stroke risk in AF is complicated by intolerance of anti-coagulation (AC) therapy and difficulty maintaining therapeutic range in patients treated with warfarin. The left atrial appendage (LAA) is a source of thrombus in AFrelated thrombo-embolic events and surgical LAA exclusion (LAAO) is commonly performed during cardiac surgery in AF patients. Surgical approaches are limited by a high incidence of incomplete closure with a potential for consequent thrombo-embolic events as well as the morbidity of an open-heart procedure. More recently, percutaneous approaches to LAAO have been developed. The LARIAT device is an epicardial LAA exclusion system that enables percutaneous suture ligation of the LAA via combined, pericardial and trans-septal access. The device has 510k Federal Drug Administration (FDA) clearance for soft-tissue ligation and has been studied in canine models in pre-clinical studies as well as published series of clinical experience with LARIAT LAAO. The history, patient selection, procedural technique and complications of LARIAT LAAO are reviewed here. Additionally, insights and procedural improvements that have been elucidated from clinical series and outcomes from the collective experience are discussed. The LARIAT’s epicardial approach to LAA ligation is unique compared with other percutaneous LAA exclusion devices, however more data regarding device safety and efficacy is needed for the LARIAT to emerge as an established therapy for stroke prevention in AF.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common arrhythmic disorder worldwide, affecting approximately 2.3 million people in the United States and 4.5 million in the European Union (January et al. 2014). With age, the prevalence and disease burden of AF increases, accounting for 15 % of all strokes and with greater associated morbidity and mortality than non-AF related strokes (January et al. 2014; Connolly et al. 2009). Oral anti-coagulation (AC) is the mainstay of stroke prevention therapy but is complicated by bleeding events and prescribing complexity, with only 50–60 % of patients treated with warfarin consistently in therapeutic range (Go et al. 1999). New oral anti-coagulants (NOACs) such as the direct thrombin inhibitor, dabigatran, and factor Xa inhibitors, rivaroxaban and apixaban, provide consistent AC compared with Coumadin but are limited by bleeding complications, expense and inability to expeditiously reverse these agents during an acute bleeding event (Connolly et al. 2009; Patel et al. 2011; Granger et al. 2011). These challenges have led to a focus on alternate therapies to reduce stroke risk in patients with AF.
The left atrial appendage (LAA) has a narrow-orifice with a tubular, trabeculated structure that fibrillates rather than contracts in AF, resulting in blood stasis and predisposition to thrombus formation (Al-Saady et al. 1999; Kanmanthareddy 2014). In a meta-analysis of 23 studies of AF patients, thrombus, when present, was localized to the LAA in 91 % of patients with non-valvular AF. The implication of the LAA as a primary source of thrombus for thrombo-embolic events in non-valvular AF has made it a veritable target for stroke reduction.
Surgical LAA exclusion by excision or ligation of the LAA, when combined with the Cox-Maze procedure, has demonstrated proficiency in reducing subsequent stroke risk (Bonow et al. 2008; Cox et al. 1999). Notably, a 36 % incidence of incomplete exclusion with surgical ligation alone has been observed and associated with thrombus formation in the partially excluded LAA as well as subsequent thrombo-embolic events (Katz et al. 2000). The flaccid state of the LAA on cardiac bypass and proximity of the circumflex artery to the base of the LAA, have been proposed etiologies of sub-optimal success with surgical approaches. Excision of the LAA provides more consistent results and the 2014 AHA/ACC/HRS Guidelines for the management of atrial fibrillation provide a Class IIB/Level of Evidence C, recommendation for surgical excision of the LAA in patients undergoing cardiac surgery (January et al. 2014). However, surgical excision remains limited by the morbidity of an open-heart procedure and lack of robust efficacy data. Surgical experience has inspired and informed the development of percutaneous left atrial appendage occlusion (LAAO) devices. The LARIAT ligation system is currently the most studied percutaneous epicardial LAAO device.
The LARIAT device was developed by a cardiothoracic surgeon and has United States Federal Drug Administration (US FDA) 510k clearance for the indication of soft-tissue approximation with greater than 2000 implants world-wide for LAA ligation (Price and Gibson 2014). A second generation of the device accommodating larger LAAs is also now commercially available. The LARIAT system accomplishes percutaneous delivery of a suture that snares the LAA epicardially, at its os, via trans-septal and pericardial access. Pre-clinical canine studies demonstrated angiographic LAA exclusion utilizing LARIAT LAAO, confirmed by macroscopic evaluation and showed progressive LAA atrophy and endothelialization of the LAA orifice in a time-dependent manner from ligation (Lee et al. 2010). The utility of an endoluminal, balloon, placed at the os of the LAA to guide LARIAT snare placement and prevent suture slippage was elucidated in an animal trial as well (Singh et al. 2010). Subsequent clinical trials have led to the use of LARIAT ligation most widely for an off-label indication of left atrial appendage ligation for stroke reduction.
LARIAT LAAO patient selection (Bartus et al. 2013)
Clinical inclusion recommendations
Clinical exclusion recommendations
Anatomical exclusion recommendations
Atrial fibrillation with CHADS2 score ≥1
History of prior cardiac surgery
Myocardial infarction within 3 months
LAA width >40 mm
Contraindication to AC therapy including:
History of pericarditis
Superiorly oriented LAA with the LAA apex directed behind the pulmonary trunk
History of thoracic radiation
Multi-lobed LAA in which lobes are oriented in different planes exceeding 40 mm
Posteriorly rotated heart
Thromboembolic event within 1 month
New York Heart Association Class IV heart failure
Recurrent CVA despite adequate AC therapy
Left ventricular function <30 %
Requirement for aspirin, thienopyridine therapy and AC therapy with high-bleed risk
Intolerance to AC therapy
Contraindications include prior pericarditis or pericardiotomy and thoracic radiation, as pericardial adhesions complicate pericardial access required for LARIAT LAAO. Due to appendage manipulation during the procedure, active thrombus within the LAA is also contraindicated. Additionally, Bartus et al. excluded patients with a myocardial infarction within 3 months, thromboembolic event within 30 days, New York Heart Association (NYHA) Class IV heart failure and left ventricular ejection fraction <30 %.
LARIAT candidates undergo an anatomical evaluation with a cardiac-gated, computed tomography (CT) scan with contrast and 3D image reconstruction to evaluate for anatomical exclusions that preclude successful device advancement. These include: (1) LAA width >40 mm, (2) superiorly oriented LAA with the apex directed behind the pulmonary artery (PA), (3) multi-lobed LAA in which lobes are oriented in different planes exceeding 40 mm, and (4) posteriorly rotated heart.
A pericardial drain is typically left in place and removed the following day if output is minimal. Patients are discharged 24–48 h after uncomplicated implantation and surveillance TEE is performed at 4–6 weeks post-implant. Pain management approaches include Tylenol as well non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents. Scheduled colchicine for 2 weeks following LARIAT ligation has been effective in reducing the incidence of post-procedural pericarditis and pain. Anti-platelet and AC regimens following LARIAT ligation in published experience are variable with some patients continued on AC therapy if tolerated, others treated with Aspirin or Plavix or both for a period of time (Koneru et al. 2014).
Guide wire or catheter trauma to LAA after TSP
Manipulation of delivery system in pericardium
Avoidance of severe IAS tenting
Advancement of trans-septal sheath dilator into LAA under fluoroscopy over 0.32″ wire with distal curve on coronary wire
TEE surveillance for RV compression with sheath advancement to avoid RV abrasion
Micro-puncture access needle
Placement of a ‘bail out’ wire in the pericardium for quick pericardial drain placement
LAA laceration or perforation
LARIAT advancement and deployment
Cognizance of endocardial and epicardial wire forces on LAA
Minimization of LARIAT delivery system prolapse onto LA
Careful suture tightening
Careful baseline TEE
Close AC monitoring
Careful flushing of trans-septal sheath
Hematoma, arterio-venous fistula, pseudoaneurysm, bleeding, hematoma
Careful technique with ultrasound guidance as needed
Pericardial effusion and tamponade from RV puncture or abrasion during sheath advancement can complicate pericardial access. Coronary or epigastric artery laceration, trauma to intra-abdominal organs and pleural puncture have also been observed with LARIAT LAAO but should be avoidable with review of pre-procedural CT (Price and Gibson 2014; Stone et al. 2013). Utilizing a micro-puncture needle for pericardial access may mitigate the risk of significant RV laceration. When encountered, adhesions should lead to consideration for aborting ligation given low likelihood of procedural success in this setting and higher risk of complication. Effusions should be promptly treated with drainage and reversal of AC as well as consideration for surgery and can be managed anticipatorily with placement of an extra ‘bail out’ wire in the pericardial space to provide pericardial access for expedited drainage of a large effusion (Price 2014). Late pericardial effusions may develop and are hypothesized to result from inflammation related to LAA necrosis. Late pleural effusions have also been noted and may be transudative or exudative and potentially represent volume retention from reduced atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) release after LAA ligation (Gunda et al. 2015).
Traction forces on the LA during LARIAT advancement and suture tightening can lead to LAA laceration or perforation and need for surgical rescue. Keating et al. reported LA laceration and cardiac tamponade requiring surgical intervention in 3 of 6 LARIAT ligations performed at their center (Keating et al. 2014). Reducing catheter prolapse onto the LA, particularly when the LA is enlarged, is a recommended preventative practice for LA or LAA laceration. Deployment of the LARIAT at a position with sufficient laxity such that the appendage orifice is recreated by proximal LAA tissue results in lesser traction on neighboring LA tissue. LAA perforation can occur during connection of the endo- and epi- wires, when tension imposed on the friable LAA can cause the epicardial wire to perforate. While prompt LARIAT deployment is a definitive treatment for LAA laceration or perforation, surgical readiness and a low threshold for surgical evaluation of ongoing pericardial output is recommended to avoid rapid decompensation.
Clinical experience and outcomes
Review of patient characteristics in published series of greater than ten patients of LARIAT LAAO
No. of patients with attempted ligation
No. of patients meeting clinical criteria screened
Mean/median CHADS2 Score/CHA2DS-VASC Scorea (Lip et al. 2010)
HAS-BLED Score (Lip et al. 2011)
Bartus et al. (2011)
14 screened, 2 excluded: 1 due to sub-optimal anatomy by pre-procedure CT, 1 due to presence of LAA thrombus by TEE at procedure onset
Bartus et al. (2013)
119 screened, 27 excluded: 16 due to sub-optimal anatomy by pre-procedure CT, 11 due to mobile thrombus noted by TEE at time of procedure
62 ± 10
Warfarin if tolerated, else aspirin mono-therapy. 55 % treated with warfarin post-procedure
1.9 ± 0.95/2.8 ± 1.56
2.4 ± 1.1
Massumi et al. (2013)
73 ± 8
65 % continued on Aspirin, 20 % on clopidogrel, 5 % on dual-antiplatelet therapy with Aspirin and dypyridamole, 15 % on warfarin, 5 % on rivaroxaban, 20 % on no AC
3.2 ± 1.2/4.8 ± 1.3
3.5 ± 1.0
Stone et al. (2013)
42 screened, 15 excluded; no further details
75 ± 8
Daily aspirin in all patients, dual anti-platelet therapy in 9 patients
3.5 ± 1.4/5.1 ± 1.5
4.6 ± 0.9
Price and Gibson (2014)
72 ± 9
Aspirin mono-therapy 31 %, dual anti-platelet 24 %, oral AC 23 %, clopidogrel mono-therapy 7 %, aggrenox 0.6 %
2.8 ± 1.4/4.1 ± 1.6
3.2 ± 1.2
Miller et al. (2014)
75 ± 10
At last follow-up, Aspirin 46 %, warfarin 20 %, Plavix 7 % dabigatran 7 %, rivaroxaban 7 %
3.0 ± 1.3
4.4 ± 1.4
Review of device success and peri-procedural and late complications from published clinical experience with percutaneously or minimally-invasively delivered LARIAT suture delivery device with greater than ten patients
Device success defined by <5 mm leak
Causes of failure to complete ligation
Durable ligation by follow-up TEE defined by <5 mm leak
Median or mean procedural time (min)a
Hospital LOS (days)
Bartus et al. (2011)
83 % (10/12)
1 failure to complete ligation due to inadequate TEE guidance, 1 pericardial adhesion preventing access
6/6 patients undergoing 60 days follow-up TEE had durable ligation
1 patient with pectus excavatum required thoracotomy for device removal
Bartus et al. (2013)
92 % (85/92)
3 pericardial adhesions preventing access, 1 pericardial adhesion preventing device advancement, 2 peri-procedural complications requiring termination, 1 anatomical contraindication to trans-septal puncture
85/85 patients undergoing 30 days TEE follow-up had durable ligation while 65/65 patients undergoing 1 yr TEE follow-up had durable ligation
1 epigastric artery laceration requiring cauterization, 1 RV puncture requiring pericardial drainage, 1 perforation during trans-septal access requiring pericardial drainage, 1 adhesion preventing advancement of LARIAT device, 3 adhesions preventing access, 2 severe pericarditis
2 non-embolic CVA, 2 SCD remote from procedure, 1 late effusion, 1 LA thrombus noted at 1 yr follow-up TEE resolving with warfarin therapy
Massumi et al. (2013)
100 % (20/20)
17/17 patients undergoing follow-up TEE at a mean of 96 days had durable ligation. In 6/17 patients, a residual pouch was noted with smooth walls in 5 and few pectinate muscles in 1
1 RV puncture requiring surgical intervention, 1 cardiac tamponade requiring pericardiocentesis, 1 prolonged intubation, 3 pericarditis with 1 requiring repeat pericardiocentesis
3 pericarditis, 1 death due to sepsis and pulmonary embolism occurring 50 days after ligation thought un-related to the procedure
83 ± 21
3.7 ± 3
Stone et al. (2013)
93 % (25/27)
2 peri-procedural complication requiring termination
22/22 patients undergoing TEE follow-up at a mean of 40 days had durable ligation
1 LAA laceration treated with reversal of anti-coagulation followed by surgical MAZE and appendage ligation, 1 CVA attributed to trans-septal sheath thrombus occurring in setting of sub-therapeutic ACT with no major neurologic sequelae after neurovascular rescue, 3 pericarditis
1 CVA 33 days post-procedure, thought secondary to arch atheroma, 1 pleural effusion
73 ± 18
2.8 ± 1.6
Price and Gibson (2014)
94 % 144/154
2 pericardial adhesions preventing access, 2 pericardial adhesions preventing device advancement, 2 difficult anatomy precluding ligation, 2 peri-procedural complications requiring termination
59/63 patients undergoing follow-up TEE had durable ligation with 4 having a >4 mm leak. Thrombus in the LA was noted in 3 patients undergoing TEE and 1 patient undergoing CT
3 patients required surgical exploration (2 for RV puncture, 1 for LAA perforation), 1 patient death due to nosocomial pneumonia post-procedure, 16 pericardial effusions, 4 pleural effusions
At a mean of 112 days follow-up, 2 cardiovascular deaths, 1 non-cardiovascular death, 2 CVAs, 3 pericardial effusions, 3 pleural effusions, 4 patients with thrombus noted in LA by TEE or CT
Miller et al. (2014)
95 % (39/41)
2 peri-procedure LAA perforation requiring emergent surgery
39/39 patients undergoing follow-up TEE had durable ligation
4 LAA lacerations (2 required exploratory surgery, 1 managed with pericardiocentesis, 1 managed with ligation), 13 pericardial effusions, 7 pericarditis, 4 pleural effusions
1 CVA, 5 pericardial effusions, 2 pericarditis, 2 pleural effusions
127 ± 50
Number of patients
313/334 (94 %)
222/226 (98 %)
Procedural adverse eventsc
64/334 (14.7 %)
1/334 (0.3 %)
6/334 (1.8 %)
1/334 (0.3 %)
Significant pericardial effusiond
25/334 (7.5 %)
Complication with surgical intervention
8/334 (2.4 %)
15/180 (8.3 %)
Late adverse events
33/334 (9.9 %)
6/334 (1.8 %)
6/334 (1.8 %)
6/334 (1.8 %)
10/334 (3.0 %)
Thrombus in LA or LAA by TEE/CT
5/227 (2.2 %)
The first-in-man feasibility study of the LARIAT device evaluated 13 patients undergoing LARIAT ligation either during open-heart surgery or in a closed-chest fashion. Twelve of 13 patients in this series had successful LAA ligation with 1 patient in whom the procedure was terminated due to lack of adequate echocardiographic guidance for snare advancement. Notably, a patient with pectus excavatum required a thoracoscopic procedure for device removal due to sternal compression (Bartus et al. 2011).
Bartus et al. subsequently published experience with LARIAT ligation in 92 patients from a single center, where ligation was successfully completed in 85 of 92 or 93 % of subjects. At 1-year follow-up, 65 patients underwent follow-up TEE with all patients having <5 mm leak. Notably, 55 % of the patients in this series were continued on AC therapy (Bartus et al. 2013).
Massumi et al. reported the first series of LARIAT ligation performed in the (US) in a single-center report of 20 patients. All attempted ligations were successful however peri-procedurally, 1 patient required surgical intervention for RV perforation and 1 patient was treated with pericardiocentesis for tamponade physiology. All 17 patients undergoing follow-up TEE at a mean of 96 ± 77 days had persistent LAA occlusion. However, in 6 of 17 patients, a small pouch was noted at the LAA os, containing smooth muscle tissue in 5 patients and pectinate muscles in one patient. Involution of the excluded LAA was noted in 3 patients in whom follow-up CT imaging was performed (Massumi et al. 2013).
Stone et al. reported a series of 27 US patients, selected from 42 patients being evaluated for LAAO that underwent LARIAT ligation, with 25 of 27 having successful ligation. One peri-procedure stroke was attributed to a sub-therapeutic ACT with thrombus noted on the trans-septal sheath. All 22 patients completing follow-up TEE at a mean of 45 days had durable ligation (Stone et al. 2013).
The largest US LARIAT experience studied 154 consecutive patients undergoing LAA ligation at eight centers. Device success, defined as device deployment with <5 mm residual leak by TEE, was achieved in 94 % of patients. Major bleeding occurred in 9 % of patients, and peri-procedural pericardial effusion in 16 %. Despite similar device success rates as other series, a higher rate of late-leak (20 %) and LA thrombus (4.8 %) was noted in follow-up. Of note, the patients included in this study were older and had more co-morbidities than the initial single center study of Bartus et al. (Price et al. 2014).
Miller et al. reported on an additional 41 consecutive patients undergoing LARIAT ligation with 39/41 having procedural success. A high rate of pericardial effusions requiring pericardiocentesis post-procedurally was noted (20 %), which authors attributed to operators in this series not maintaining a pericardial drain post-procedurally. Seven percent of patients required thoracentesis for late pleural effusions. Authors also noted a high rate of LAA perforation, with 2 of 4 patients with this complication requiring surgical treatment. All 4 patients with LAA perforation required multiple attempts to position the LARIAT snare, suggesting that in cases of challenging anatomy, advancement should be attempted when endocardial and epicardial wire alignment is optimal and aborted after a limited number of attempts to avert laceration and perforation (Miller et al. 2014).
Gafoor and authors evaluated the safety and efficacy of LAAO with a number of occlusion devices in a cohort of 75 octogenarians. Procedural success was noted in all 4 patients undergoing LARIAT exclusion, with no acute adverse safety events and an average hospital length of stay of 2.5 days. At 1-year, 1 LARIAT patient had an embolic stroke with thrombus originating from an incompletely ligated lobe of the appendage (Gafoor et al. 2014).
Patel et al. evaluated the compassionate use of LARIAT ligation in 9 patients who were precluded based on appendage morphology and size. Their analysis showed a LARIAT deployment success rate of 78 % utilizing strategies such as using the magnet-tipped endowire to straighten the LAA to reduce circumference and utilizing the endocath balloon to suction from the LAA, effectively reducing LAA volume (Patel et al. 2015).
Several features distinguish the LARIAT LAAO system. Compared with percutaneous endocardial LAAO devices such as the WATCHMAN (Boston Scientific Corporation, Natick, Massachusetts) and Amplatzer (St. Jude Medical, Inc., Saint Paul, Minnesota), systems, the LARIAT approach is epicardial, with only a polyester suture left behind. Device embolization, noted in 1.2 % of patients in the PREVAIL trial of the WATCHMAN device, is not observed with LARIAT LAAO and late device erosion is not a concern (Holmes et al. 2014). Intriguingly, involution of the LAA has been noted on CT imaging following LARIAT ligation and as early as 4 weeks post-implant on autopsy findings, which may have a desirable impact on the long-term durability of this approach (Massumi et al. 2013; Ellis et al. 2015). LARIAT LAAO results in electrical isolation of the LAA, with post-procedural reduction in AF burden noted as well as increased maintenance of NSR observed when performed in conjunction with pulmonary vein isolation (Han et al. 2014; Afzal et al. 2015; Badhwar et al. 2015). In the PROTECT-AF and CAP registries of the WATCHMAN device, a less than 5 mm peri-device residual leak into the appendage defined procedural success, whereas several LARIAT series demonstrate no or minimal residual jet with a similar rate of procedural success (Bartus et al. 2013; Massumi et al. 2013; Miller et al. 2014; Holmes et al. 2009; Reddy et al. 2011). In case series, 6.25–35.7 % of patients screened for LARIAT LAAO are excluded due to anatomical exclusions, while in the PROTECT-AF experience of the WATCHMAN device, 38.9 % of patients screened for device placement were excluded for clinical and echocardiographic reasons, suggesting that a complement of LAAO approaches may be suitable to serve a clinically an anatomically diverse population of AF patients (Stone et al. 2013; Bartus et al. 2011, 2013; Holmes et al. 2009).
The incidence of peri-procedural complications during LARIAT LAAO is poorly delineated and derived from one controlled trial evaluating the device in 92 subjects and experience from reported case series. A peri-procedural death rate of 0.3 % is noted in the cumulative published LARIAT experience, however the FDA’s MAUDE database reports four procedure-related deaths, likely reflecting publication bias present in reported case-series (Table 5; Fig. 5). The emergent surgery rate in the cumulative LARIAT experience was 2.4 % (8 patients) compared with 31 reports of emergent surgery in the MAUDE database. Notably, the emergency surgery rate was 1.6 % in the PROTECT-AF trial and 0.4 % in the PREVAIL trial (Holmes et al. 2009, 2014). Uniquely, LARIAT LAAO results in a high rate of pericarditis due to pericardial manipulations and appendage necrosis and is also linked to the development of pleural effusions. Long-term implications of pericardial manipulation, inflammation and adhesion formation after LARIAT LAAO are not known. Paucity of data regarding real-world rate of procedural complications and the device’s exclusively off-label use were critiqued in a recent JAMA review (Holmes et al. 2009; Chatterjee et al. 2015). The device is currently being studied in a multi-center observational trial evaluating procedural complication rate and short-term durability [ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02059707].
A large, controlled trial of LARIAT LAAO would inform the incidence and mechanisms of various complications of LARIAT LAAO as well as possible means of improving upon these in a systematic fashion. Analysis of the PROTECT-AF trial and Continuing Access Registry of the WATCHMAN device allowed for advancements in operator training as well as device refinements and protocol modifications that resulted in significant improvement in the safety and efficacy of the device (Holmes et al. 2009; Reddy et al. 2013). Further insight into anatomical considerations that would enhance current inclusion and exclusion criteria for LARIAT LAAO could also be obtained by a large-scale trial of the device. Delineation of an optimal AC regimen would inform and standardize post-procedural practice. Establishment of efficacy in reduction of thrombo-embolic events compared with Coumadin or NOACs is an important aim for future investigations and for meaningful comparison with other LAAO systems.
The LARIAT device is an epicardial approach to LAA ligation, with safety and efficacy studied in small clinical series. Epicardial ligation may have potential advantages over endocardial occlusion such as LAA involution and electrical isolation. True complications rates and procedural strategies to prevent and manage complications, efficacy in reduction of thrombo-embolic events, optimal patient selection and post-procedural AC regimens remain to be delineated for the LARIAT ligation system.
MS conceived of the review and drafted the manuscript. VS participated in drafting the manuscript and revised it critically for intellectual content. MD participated in drafting the manuscript and revised it critically for intellectual content. MP participated in drafting the manuscript and revised it critically for intellectual content as well as provided material for Figures.
MS is a an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) and is a practicing interventional cardiologist, performing coronary interventions as well as structural interventions including left atrial appendage ligation with the LARIAT device.
VS is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the UMSOM a practices clinical electrophysiology including structural interventions such as left atrial appendage ligation with the LARIAT device.
MD is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the UMSOM and a practicing cardiac surgeon performing left atrial appendage ligation with the AtriClip device as well as left atrial appendage ligation with the LARIAT device.
MP is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of San Francisco School of Medicine and a practicing interventional cardiologist performing left atrial appendage exclusion procedures.
Compliance with ethical guidelines
Competing interests MP reports receipt of consulting honoraria from St. Jude Medical, Boston Scientific, W.L. Gore and Daiichi Sankyo, Accumetrics, AstraZeneca, Janssen Pharmaceuticals. MP has also served as a proctor for Boston Scientific, St. Jude Medical, SentreHeart and W.L. Gore and has received research support from SentreHeart Inc. The other authors (MS, VS, MD) declare that they have no competing interests.
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