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Fernández-Rodríguez D, Martín-Yuste V, Feu F, Brugaletta S, Freixa X, Regueiro A, Sabaté M

Can the vicious cycle of obscure or intractable gastrointestinal bleeding be broken in patients with atrial fibrillation subject to anticoagulant therapy?

Rev Esp Enferm Dig. 2014 May;106(5):350-3, PMID: 25287239

Gastrointestinal bleeding of obscure origin or with an intractable cause is particularly common in patients with atrial fibrillation subject to oral anticoagulant therapy. This condition is highly recurrent and therefore gives rise to high morbidity and mortality rates, thus entailing a vicious cycle that is difficult to solve.Percutaneous left atrial appendage closure has become a therapeutic alternative for patients with atrial fibrillation and a contraindication for oral anticoagulation. This technique would allow the discontinuation of oral anticoagulants, thus helping to reduce the risk for gastrointestinal bleeding, and would also be protective against embolic events in this group of patients, thereby eventually breaking this vicious cycle.We report our experience with percutaneous left atrial appendage closure in the management of patients with atrial fibrillation who are subject to oral anticoagulation therapy and suffer from obscure or intractable gastrointestinal bleeding.


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