Incidence and causes of in-hospital outcomes and 30-day readmissions after percutaneous left atrial appendage closure: A US nationwide retrospective cohort study using claims data

Published:September 17, 2019DOI:


      Percutaneous left atrial appendage closure (pLAAC) emerged as an option for stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation ineligible for long-term anticoagulation. Real-world data on pLAAC's in-hospital and 30-day readmission measures are limited.


      We sought to report the nationwide incidence of the above outcomes using 2016 claims data.


      We used the National Inpatient Sample for in-hospital outcomes and Nationwide Readmissions Database for readmissions. We identified hospitalizations with a primary diagnosis of atrial fibrillation and pLAAC procedure by using International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision codes and compared the outcomes mentioned above between the endocardial and epicardial cohorts. Statistical analyses were performed using R 3.3.2.


      Among 5480 pLAAC procedures (endocardial: 5145; epicardial: 335), the in-hospital mortality was 0.3%. Endocardial left atrial appendage closure (LAAC) had lower complications (8.5% vs 25.4%; P < .001) and shorter length of stay median [interquartile range] 1 [1–1] day vs 2 [1–3] days; P < .001) but higher hospitalization cost (24.13 [18.45–30.17] × 1000 dollars vs 21.21 [14.03–27.86] × 1000 dollars; P = .016). The most common complications include pericardial (endocardial vs epicardial: 3% vs 10.4%; P < .001) and renal failure (1.4% vs 6.0%; P = .004). Epicardial LAAC had higher 30-day unplanned readmissions (19.5% vs 8.3%; P = .001), with the most common reason being pericarditis and/or effusion (33.9%).


      Endocardial LAAC had lower complications and 30-day readmissions but higher hospitalization cost. Although epicardial LAAC showed higher complications, given recent improvements in its technique, and postprocedural care demonstrated a significant reduction in pericardial complications, more contemporary data comparing these outcomes are needed.


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