Top experts will come together Wednesday morning for a new summit at Scientific Sessions.
“New Frontier of LAA Atrial Appendage Closure” will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Room 2014, Moscone West.
The program (included in Premier Registration) will review LAA anatomy and the scientific evidence supporting appendage closure as an effective therapy for stroke risk reduction for patients with atrial fibrillation. Following the review of the key clinical issues, the program ends with a look at existing gaps in scientific data and tools to effectively and efficiently gather data on current and future devices.David J. Slotwiner, MD, FHRS, recently discussed the highlights and benefits of this new addition to the Scientific Sessions schedule.
In your own words, can you explain the LAA Summit and why it was chosen as the new summit for Heart Rhythm 2016?
“Left atrial appendage closure therapy is the first effective alternative treatment to life-long blood thinners that we have to offer patients with atrial fibrillation to reduce their risk of stroke. It represents a tremendous milestone in our treatment of the most common arrhythmia – one that affects an estimated 5.2 million Americans and 33 million people worldwide.(Chugh et al., 2013).
Percutaneous device therapy to close the left atrial appendage is a brand new field and therefore in its infancy. Given the strong desire from patients and physicians to have alternatives to life-long anticoagulation, and the number of patients affected by atrial fibrillation, it is clear that a summit focused on LAA therapy is necessary.”
What makes the LAA Summit unique and why should people attend?
“The Summit is unique because this marks the first Scientific Sessions during which there will be an FDA-approved device specifically for the purpose of LAA closure and stroke risk reduction, and one that has been recognized by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as appropriate for certain patients with atrial fibrillation who are unable to receive long-term anticoagulation. Because of this landmark, there is tremendous interest and excitement surrounding the technology. However, many questions remain to be answered and it is imperative that we recognize the limitations of the data to assist patients and other clinicians in a shared decision-making process.
The LAA Summit will bring together a unique breadth of experts covering all aspects of LAA closure therapy including patient selection, procedural techniques, managing complications, current and future clinical trials, and the role of the National Cardiovascular Data Registry.”
What are you looking forward to the most about the LAA Summit?
“Every aspect of this new therapy is fascinating and exciting to me – from clinical science to health policy. It’s very rare that we are witness to an entirely new class of device therapy being introduced into general use. I am looking forward to learning the subtleties of anatomy of the LAA, tips and tricks for implanting the devices, learning about new percutaneous devices being developed as well as epicardial and surgical approaches. A fascinating component of the Summit will be to hear the FDA’s perspective on the challenges of evaluating the risks and benefits of this new class of devices especially given the simultaneously evolving advances in anticoagulant pharmacological alternatives. In the complex regulatory environment, the Summit attendees will benefit from learning about the FDA mandated post approval study for the WATCHMAN device and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Coverage with Evidence Development for Percutaneous Left Atrial Appendage Closure Services.”
The Left Atrial Appendage Summit is supported by unrestricted educational grants provided by Biosense Webster, Inc. and Boston Scientific.