Despite maturing experience, transseptal puncture (TSP) remains a challenging part of percutaneous left atrial appendage closure (LAAC) and has inherent risks and safety concerns in accessing the left atrium (LA). The VersaCross radiofrequency (RF) system (Baylis Medical), a new RF-tipped pigtail wire-based TSP system, may facilitate LA access by serving as an exchange support wire once access is achieved.
We retrospectively compared TSP safety and procedural efficiency in 10 consecutive LAAC cases using the VersaCross RF system to 10 cases using the conventional BRK1-XS mechanical needle (Abbott Vascular). The safety and time from femoral access to delivery of the device sheath were compared to the conventional workflow using BRK1-XS/SL1.
We included consecutive 20 cases between July 2019 and November 2019 (12 with WATCHMAN (Boston Scientific, Natick, MA) and 8 with Amulet (St. Jude Medical, St Paul, MN)). Baseline patient characteristics and procedural details were similar in both groups (VersaCross RF system vs. conventional BRK1-XS mechanical needle). All cases were completed successfully with no procedural or in-hospital complications. VersaCross reduced time from femoral access to TSP [4.1 ± 2.5 min vs. 8.4 ± 4.0 min (p = 0.009)] and time from femoral access to delivery sheath access into LA [6.7 ± 2.4 min vs. 13.4 ± 5.4 min (p = 0.002)] compared to BRK1-XS.
Combining a starter wire, transseptal needle and exchange guidewire in the VersaCross RF system enabled faster LA access, which potentially leads to efficient workflow. Further investigation with larger sample size is warranted to corroborate our findings.