Is transesophageal echocardiography necessary in patients undergoing ablation of atrial fibrillation on an uninterrupted direct oral anticoagulant regimen? Results from a prospective multicenter registry

Kavisha Patel, Andrea Natale, Ruike Yang, Chintan Trivedi, Jorge Romero, David Briceno, Sanghamitra Mohanty, Isabella Alviz, Veronica Natale, Javier Sanchez, Domenico G. Della Rocca, Nicola Tarantino, Xiao Dong Zhang, Prasant Mohanty, Rodney Horton, David Burkhardt, Rakesh Gopinathannair, G. Joseph Gallinghouse, Dhanunjaya Lakkireddy, Luigi Di Biase

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Thromboembolic stroke is a rare but devastating consequence of atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation. Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) is recommended to rule out left atrial appendage thrombus; however, its use is variable. Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess whether TEE is mandatory in patients undergoing AF ablation on uninterrupted direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs). Methods: Data from our prospective multicenter registry of patients with AF undergoing radiofrequency catheter ablation on uninterrupted DOACs were analyzed. All the included patients were on anticoagulation for at least 4 weeks before ablation. All AF ablation procedures were performed under intracardiac echocardiography guidance. Before transseptal puncture, heparin bolus was administered, followed by continuous infusion, with a target activated clotting time of >300 seconds. Results: A total of 6186 patients (3180 on apixaban [51.4%], 2528 on rivaroxaban [40.9%], 404 on dabigatran [6.5%], and 74 on edoxaban [1.2%]) were analyzed. The mean age of the study population was 69.4 ± 10.3 years; 4194 patients (67.8%) were male, and 5120 patients (82.8%) had persistent and long-standing persistent AF. The mean CHA2DS2-VASc score was 2.86 ± 1.58; the mean CHADS2 score was 1.65 ± 1.14. Intracardiac echocardiography ruled out left atrial appendage and left atrial thrombi in all patients and revealed “smoke” in 1672 patients (27.03%). Transient ischemic attack was noted in 1 patient with long-standing persistent AF in the setting of a missed dose of rivaroxaban before ablation. Conclusion: Our study showed that performing AF ablation in patients on uninterrupted DOACs without TEE is safe and feasible in high stroke risk patients. Elimination of routine preablation TEE would have significant economic and clinical implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2093-2099
Number of pages7
JournalHeart Rhythm
Volume17
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2020

Keywords

  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Direct oral anticoagulants
  • Intracardiac echocardiography
  • Transesophageal echocardiography
  • Uninterrupted anticoagulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

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