Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion Versus Novel Oral Anticoagulation for Stroke Prevention in Atrial Fibrillation (Occlusion-AF)

  • End date
    Oct 1, 2030
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    University of Aarhus
Updated on 13 February 2022
atrial fibrillation
ischemic stroke
cerebral infarction
transient ischemic attack
anticoagulation therapy
left atrial appendage occlusion


Atrial fibrillation (AF) is progressively common, and increases the risk of stroke five-fold. Oral anticoagulation is the mainstay therapy; however, it increases the risk of bleeding. Moreover, 30% with AF and at risk of stroke are not in relevant anticoagulation. The randomized PROTECT-AF trial has demonstrated the superiority of left atrial appendage occlusion (LAAO) as compared to warfarin for prevention of the combined endpoint of stroke, major bleeding and cardiovascular mortality. However, studies comparing LAAO to therapy with novel oral anticoagulants (NOAC) have not been carried out.

This study aims to assess the effect of left atrial appendage occlusion (LAAO) to reduce the incidence of stroke, systemic embolism, major bleeding and all-cause mortality in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) and a prior ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA).


An investigator-initiated multicenter, randomized open-label non-inferiority trial with blinded outcome evaluation (PROBE design). The active comparison LAAO is tested against NOAC therapy in a 1:1 stratified randomization. Patients should have AF, and an ischemic stroke or TIA within 6 months prior to enrollment. In total 750 patients will be included. Follow-up will be based on in-office and telephone follow-up during the first 3 years after randomization, along with up to 10 years long-term follow-up through the National Patient Registries.

The main study outcomes: The primary outcome is a composite of stroke (hemorrhagic or ischemic), systemic embolism, major bleeding or all-cause mortality assessed after at least two years follow-up for the last enrolled patient. Secondary outcomes will examine early and late safety outcome measures. The long-term outcome will be assessed up to 10-years after randomization through the National Patient Registries.

Condition Atrial Fibrillation, Stroke
Treatment NOAC, Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT03642509
SponsorUniversity of Aarhus
Last Modified on13 February 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Age 18 years
documented non-valvular atrial fibrillation (paroxysmal, persistent or permanent)
Eligible for long-term Novel Oral Anticoagulation (NOAC) therapy
Ischemic stroke within the recent 6 months verified by neuroimaging, or
Transient ischemic attack within 6 months with proven cerebral ischemia based on cerebral magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

Exclusion Criteria

Modified rankin scale > 3 at time of enrollment
Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) below 15 ml/min/1.73 m2
Contraindication towards long-term aspirin therapy
Planned combined cardiovascular interventional procedures at the time of enrollment
Terminal illness or cancer with life expectancy less than 2 years
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