Surgery for supraventricular tachycardia and congenital heart defects: long-term efficacy of the combined approach in adult patients

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AIMS: Supraventricular arrhythmias are a major cause of morbidity and mortality in adult patients with congenital heart disease (CHD). Intraoperative ablation offers an alternative for patients who failed ablation procedures or are requiring concomitant surgical intervention. We present our long-term results with the surgical treatment of arrhythmias in adults with CHD (ACHD) undergoing elective cardiac surgery and the clinical predictors for arrhythmia recurrence.

METHODS AND RESULTS: Between 2002 and 2013, 80 consecutive patients with CHD, mean age of 39 years, underwent intraoperative ablation with monopolar irrigated radiofrequency during cardiac surgery procedures. Significant clinical predictors of arrhythmia recurrence were determined by univariate analysis. We performed 47 right-sided Maze procedures, and 33 Cox-Maze III procedures. In 75 survivors, the ablation was effective immediately. Over an average follow-up period of 72 months (12-155 months), arrhythmias recurred in nine (20%) patients after right-sided Maze, and in six (19%) patients after Cox-Maze III. Eleven patients were controlled with medical therapy, three underwent catheter ablation of the arrhythmia, and one required a permanent pacemaker. Preoperative arrhythmia length ≥3 years (P ≤ 0.001), tetralogy of Fallot (P ≤ 0.006), and preoperative atrial fibrillation (P ≤ 0.016) were associated with recurrence arrhythmia. Conversely, NYHA class <3 (P ≤ 0.047) was associated with a lower risk of recurrence.

CONCLUSION: Surgical treatment of unresponsive supraventricular arrhythmia during concomitant cardiac surgery in ACHD is a safe and effective procedure. Freedom from arrhythmias recurrence is 75% after 6 years of follow-up. Long-term recurrence of arrhythmia in these patients seems to be strongly correlated to preoperative arrhythmia duration.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Oct 12 2016


  • Journal Article


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