Background. We report the results of an intraoperative ablation procedure for combined treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF) in patients affected by heart valve disease. Methods. From February 1998 to June 2000, 80 patients scheduled for heart valve operations underwent combined surgical treatment of AF. Seventy-eight patients had mitral valve disease and 2 had aortic regurgitation; 74 patients were affected by chronic AF (mean 50 ± 74 months, range 6-480 months) and 6 had paroxysmal AF. A left atrial set of radiofrequency ablations (mainly epicardial) was performed in all patients. Results. Thirty-five patients underwent conservative mitral valve surgery, 43 had mitral valve replacement and 2 had aortic valve replacement. The combination of the ablation procedure did not lead to a substantial prolongation of cardiopulmonary and aortic cross clamp time and did not increase perioperative morbidity. No procedure-related complications were recorded. Operative mortality was favorably comparable with that of valvular surgery alone (2.5%). Mean hospital stay was 6.8 ± 4.4 days. At follow-up (16.2 ± 9.2 months, range 3-28 months), 61 patients (78.2%) were in stable sinus rhythm; all of them recovered left and right atrial contractility as assessed by Doppler echocardiography. Conclusions. The combined treatment of AF with a radiofrequency ablation surgical technique is effective in restoring stable sinus rhythm and atrial contractility. The procedure is low risk thereby allowing a prompt clinical recovery after operation. It should therefore be considered in all patients with AF undergoing open-heart surgery.
|Translated title of the contribution||Epicardial ablation of atrial fibrillation during heart valve surgery|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Italian Heart Journal Supplement|
|Publication status||Published - 2001|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine