Background: Percutaneous left atrial appendage exclusion (LAAE) has evolved as an alternative strategy for stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation (AF). Recent observational data have suggested that epicardial LAAE can have substantial impact on arrhythmia burden and hemodynamic profile. Objectives: The authors aimed to study the impact of epicardial versus endocardial LAAE on systemic blood pressure in hypertensive AF patients. Methods: This was a prospective, nonrandomized study comparing 247 patients who underwent epicardial LAAE with 124 patients with endocardial exclusion. Clinical outcomes were measured at 3 months and 1 year. Primary outcome was improvement in systolic blood pressure (SBP) between both groups compared with baseline. Secondary outcome included changes in diastolic pressures (DBP), serum electrolytes, and creatinine. Results: There was no significant difference in baseline SBP between epicardial and endocardial groups. SBP was significantly lower in the epicardial group both at 3 months (122 ± 11.8 mm Hg vs. 129.7 ± 8.2 mm Hg; p < 0.001) and 1 year (123 ± 11.6 mm Hg vs. 132.2 ± 8.8 mm Hg; p < 0.001) compared with the endocardial group. An adjusted multivariate linear mixed effects model demonstrated that epicardial LAAE significantly decreased SBP by 7.4 mm Hg at 3 months and by 8.9 mm Hg at 1 year (p < 0.0001). There was a trend toward lower DBP with epicardial LAAE at 3 months by 1.3 mm Hg (p = 0.2) and at 1 year by 1.8 mm Hg (p = 0.09). There was no significant difference in serum electrolytes and creatinine between both groups. Conclusions: In hypertensive AF patients, epicardial LAAE significantly decreases SBP both at 3 and 12 months compared with endocardial exclusion.
- atrial fibrillation
- left atrial appendage
- renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system