SYSTEMATIC REVIEW
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Concomitant surgical closure of left atrial appendage: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

OBJECTIVES: Although percutaneous closure of the left atrial appendage is supported as a potential alternative to lifelong anticoagulation in patients with atrial fibrillation, comprehensive evidence on surgical left atrial appendage closure in heart surgery is limited.

METHODS: We conducted a meta-analysis of studies comparing patients who underwent open cardiac surgery with or without left atrial appendage closure. A literature search was performed on PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Trials databases. Outcomes of interest were 30-day/in-hospital mortality and cerebrovascular accident. I2 statistics were used to evaluate heterogeneity, and publication bias was evaluated by Begg's and Egger's tests.

RESULTS: We reviewed 1284 articles and selected for main analysis 7 articles including 3897 patients (1963 in the left atrial appendage closure group and 1934 in the non-left atrial appendage closure group). Among the 7 studies, 3 were randomized-controlled studies, 3 were propensity-matched studies, and 1 was a case-matching study. At 30-day/in-hospital follow-up, left atrial appendage closure was significantly associated with decreased risk of mortality and cerebrovascular accident (odds ratio, 0.384, 95% confidence interval, 0.233-0.631 for mortality, and odds ratio, 0.622, 95% confidence interval, 0.388-0.998 for cerebrovascular accident). Stratified analysis demonstrated that this association was more prominent in preoperative atrial fibrillation strata.

CONCLUSIONS: Concomitant surgical left atrial appendage closure should be considered at the time of open cardiac surgery, particularly among those in atrial fibrillation preoperatively. The benefit of left atrial appendage closure for patients not in atrial fibrillation and for those undergoing nonvalvular surgery is still unclear. Further prospective investigations are indicated.

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