Three-year outcomes of the postapproval study of the AtriCure Bipolar Radiofrequency Ablation of Permanent Atrial Fibrillation Trial.

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The Journal of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery


OBJECTIVES: The Cox Maze IV operation is commonly performed concomitant with other cardiac operations and effectively reduces the burden of atrial fibrillation. Prospective randomized trials have reported outcomes early and at 12 months, but only single-center late durability results are available. As part of the postapproval process for a bipolar radiofrequency ablation system, we sought to determine early and midterm outcomes of patients undergoing the Cox Maze IV operation.

METHODS: A prospective, multicenter, single-arm study of 363 patients (mean age, 70 years, 82% valve surgery) with nonparoxysmal atrial fibrillation (mean duration, 60 months, 94% Congestive heart failure, Hypertension, Age ≥ 75, Diabetes, Stroke, VAScular disease, Age 65-74, Sex category ≥2) undergoing concomitant Maze IV atrial fibrillation ablation at 40 sites with 70 surgeons was performed between June 2010 and October 2014. Compliance with the study lesion set was 94.5%, and 99% had left atrial appendage closure. Freedom from atrial fibrillation was determined by extended monitoring, with a 48-hour Holter monitor minimum.

RESULTS: There were no device-related complications. Freedom from atrial fibrillation off antiarrhythmic medications at 1, 2, and 3 years was 66%, 65%, and 64%, respectively, and including those using antiarrhythmics was 80%, 78%, and 76%, respectively. Warfarin was used in 49%, 44%, and 40%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: In patients with nonparoxysmal atrial fibrillation, compliance with the protocol was high, and freedom from atrial fibrillation off antiarrhythmics was high and sustained to 3 years. The safety and effectiveness of the system and Cox Maze IV procedure support the Class I guideline recommendation for concomitant atrial fibrillation ablation in patients undergoing cardiac surgery.

Clinical Institute

Cardiovascular (Heart)