Prevalence of intra-atrial reentrant tachycardia following mitral valve surgery: Relationship to surgical approach.

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of cardiac surgery


Arrhythmias, Cardiac; Humans; Mitral Valve; Postoperative Complications; Prevalence; Retrospective Studies; surgical history; valve repair/replacement


BACKGROUND AND AIM: Mitral valve (MV) surgeries create electrophysiological substrates that give rise to postoperative arrhythmias. MV surgical procedures have been associated with macro- and microreentrant arrhythmogenic circuits, as well as circuits involving the atrial roof. It is not well understood why such arrhythmias develop; therefore, the aim of this study was to describe clinical and procedure characteristics associated with atrial arrhythmias in patients with prior MV surgery.

METHODS: This retrospective chart review evaluated patients who had prior MV surgery and ablation procedures for atrial tachycardia between 2014 and 2018 (n = 20). Patients were classified into those exhibiting typical atrial flutter or another atrial tachyarrhythmia.

RESULTS: Within the 20 patient cases reviewed, 30 arrhythmias were documented. Two-thirds of arrhythmias were typical atrial flutter; the percent incidence of arrhythmias originating in the right atrial (RA) roof, around the right atriotomy scar, in the left atrium, and at the crista terminalis was 20%, 3%, 7%, and 7%, respectively. Nearly every case of RA roof flutter (n = 5/6) and most arrhythmias (n = 20/30) occurred in patients who had a transseptal approach during MV surgery. Voltage maps did not show clear differences in scarring between groups.

CONCLUSION: Results from this study suggest that an arrhythmogenic substrate for RA roof tachycardias is generated by transseptal approaches for MV surgery. This substrate is not clearly related to a surgical scar. These data suggest that other approaches should be considered for MV surgeries. Additionally, more research is needed to determine the mechanism for this nonscar-related arrhythmia substrate.

Clinical Institute

Cardiovascular (Heart)