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Transcatheter closure of secundum atrial septal defects: has fear of device erosion altered outcomes?

  • Bryan Mitchelson (a1), Clare O’Donnell (a1), Peter Ruygrok (a2), John Wright (a1), John Stirling (a1) and Nigel Wilson (a1)...



Transcatheter device closure has become the established standard of care for suitable atrial septal defects. Device erosion has been a recent focus and has prompted changes in the Instructions for Users documentation released by device companies. We reviewed our entire local experience with atrial septal defect device closure, focussing on the evolution of this procedure in our centre and particularly on complications.


We carried out a retrospective review of 581 consecutive patients undergoing attempted transcatheter device closure of an atrial septal defect in Auckland from December 1997 to June 2014. We reviewed all complications recorded and compared our outcomes with the current literature. We sought to understand the impact of the evolution in recommendations and clinical practice on patient outcomes in our programme.


There were a total of 24 complications (4.1%), including 10 device embolisations (1.7%), nine arrhythmias (1.5%), two significant vascular access-related complications (0.3%), one device erosion (0.2%), one malposed device (0.2%), and one probable wire perforation of the left atrial appendage (0.2%). There was one mortality related to device embolisation. All device embolisations occurred following the change in Instructions for Users after publication of the first device erosion report in 2004. This increase in embolisation rate was statistically significant (p-value 0.015).


In our series, the incidence of device embolisation was higher than that anticipated, with a significant increase following changes to the Instructions for Users. This highlights the need for ongoing data collection on complication incidence and for ongoing review of the impact of changes in clinical practice on complication rates.


Corresponding author

Correspondence to: C. O’Donnell MBChB SM, FRACP, Paediatric/Congenital Cardiologist, Paediatric and Congenital Cardiac Service, Starship/Auckland City Hospitals, Starship Children’s Hospital Private Bag 92024, Victoria Street West, Auckland 1142, New Zealand. Tel: +64 9 307 4949, ext 23642/2361; Fax:+64 9 375 7026; E-mail:


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Cardiology in the Young
  • ISSN: 1047-9511
  • EISSN: 1467-1107
  • URL: /core/journals/cardiology-in-the-young
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