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Device closure of secundum atrial septal defect’s and the risk of cardiac erosion


Cardiac erosion related to transcatheter atrial septal defect closure devices is of increasing concern. Erosion is reported to have occurred with most of currently available occluder devices. Perhaps due to the very large number of implants worldwide, the Amplatzer (St Jude) occluder is associated with the majority of cardiac erosion events reported in the literature. Best current estimates of the incidence of erosion with the St Jude device are between one and three cases per 1000 implants. Most events occur early after implantation and it is rare, although not unheard of, for events to occur after a year following device insertion. It is important that those involved with closure programmes are vigilant for the problem, because device-related erosion is associated with a significant mortality risk. Despite considerable debate, the risk factors (either patient or device) for erosion remain unclear and require further investigation. Currently available data sets have focussed largely on erosion cohorts and are unable to place these cases in appropriate context with non-erosion closure cases. What is certain is that programmes implanting these devices must take care to implant appropriately sized devices and have in place plans to ensure that patients are both well informed and can access help and advice in the event of developing symptoms.


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Correspondence to J. D. R. Thomson BM BS MD FRCP.

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Thomson, J.D.R., Qureshi, S.A. Device closure of secundum atrial septal defect’s and the risk of cardiac erosion. Echo Res Pract 2, R73–R78 (2015).

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