Department of Cardiology, Pulmonology, and Vascular Medicine, Cardiovascular Research Institute Düsseldorf (CARID), Medical Faculty of the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany. Electronic address: [Email]
BACKGROUND : The optimal antithrombotic strategy after interventional left atrial appendage closure (LAAC) is controversial. Dual antiplatelet therapy with aspirin and clopidogrel is the most frequently used regiment. However, pharmacodynamic response to antiplatelet medication differs significantly between individuals. Therefore, we aimed to analyse pharmacodynamic response to aspirin and clopidogrel after LAAC. METHODS : In this study, we included 129 patients undergoing interventional LAAC. Primary end point was pharmacodynamic response to antiplatelet medication. Platelet reactivity was measured by light transmittance aggregometry and vasodilator stimulated protein phosphorylation assay. Secondary endpoints were TIMI bleeding events and MACCE during hospital course and one-year follow-up. RESULTS : Insufficient pharmacodynamic response (high on-treatment platelet reactivity - HTPR) to clopidogrel occurred in 67 patients (52%); HTPR to aspirin in 15 patients (12%); low on-treatment platelet reactivity - LTPR - to clopidogrel in 13 patients (10%). No occluder thrombosis or stroke occurred during one year follow-up. Pharmacodynamic response to antiplatelet medication was not associated with MACCE. However, the incidence of TIMI minor bleeding was increased in patients with LTPR to clopidogrel. CONCLUSIONS : Impaired clopidogrel antiplatelet effects were very frequent in patients after LAAC. No stroke or occluder thrombosis occurred. Patients with LTPR to clopidogrel showed more minor bleeding events. Therefore, this hypothesis generating pilot study raises the question if clopidogrel early after LAAC is needed. This question should be addressed in large scale trials.