AbstractBackground

Patients with high stroke risk and atrial fibrillation who are unsuitable to oral anticoagulants (OACs) require other stroke prevention strategies. A novel permanent coil filter directly placed into both common carotid arteries (CCAs) was designed to capture emboli >1.4 mm in diameter.

Objectives

The multicenter, nonrandomized, first-in-human clinical CAPTURE (Carotid Artery Implant for Trapping Upstream Emboli for Preventing Stroke in Atrial Fibrillation Patients) trial sought to determine the feasibility and safety of bilateral CCA filter placement.

Methods

Eligible patients had atrial fibrillation, CHA2DS2-VASc (Congestive heart failure, Hypertension, Age 75 years, Diabetes, Stroke/transient ischemic attack, Vascular disease, Age 65 to 74 years, Sex category) ≥2, OAC unsuitability, CCA size 4.8 to 9.8 mm, and no carotid stenosis >30%. Under ultrasound guidance, after direct transcutaneous carotid puncture with a 24-gauge needle, a motorized unit expels the filter to unfurl in the artery. Patients received aspirin/clopidogrel for 3 months, and aspirin thereafter. Primary endpoints were: 1) procedural success—bilateral, properly positioned CCA filters; and 2) 30-day incidence of major adverse events—death, stroke, major bleeding, filter migration, CCA thrombus, or stenosis. Carotid ultrasounds were conducted post-procedure, pre-discharge, at 1 week, and at 1, 3, 6, and 12 months.

Results

At 3 centers, 25 patients were enrolled: age 71 ± 9 years, CHA2DS2-VASc = 4.4 ± 1.0, prior embolism in 48%. Procedure success was 92% (23 of 25 patients); 1 patient had unilateral deployment. There were no device/procedure-related major adverse events; minor puncture site hematomas/edema occurred in 5 of 25 (20%). After 6-month mean follow-up, asymptomatic thrombi were detected in 4 patients (1 bilateral, 4 unilateral), adjudicated as captured (n = 3), unclassified (n = 2), or in situ (n = 0). In all patients, the thrombi dissolved with subcutaneous heparin. In 1 patient, 2 device/procedure-unrelated minor strokes occurred.

Conclusions

Permanent carotid filter placement for stroke prophylaxis is technically feasible and safe. (Carotid Artery Implant for Trapping Upstream Emboli for Preventing Stroke in Atrial Fibrillation Patients [CAPTURE]; NCT03571789)

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