A heart-team hybrid approach for atrial fibrillation: a single-centre long-term clinical outcome cohort study.

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Publication Date


Publication Title

European journal of cardio-thoracic surgery : official journal of the European Association for Cardio-thoracic Surgery


california; santa rosa


OBJECTIVES: The Cox-maze IV is the gold standard for surgical ablation of atrial fibrillation (AF). A heart-team hybrid approach using selected epicardial thoracoscopic surgical ablations and completion endocardial ablations to replicate the Cox-maze IV lesion set has gained popularity and early results have been promising. We herein report our single-centre long-term clinical outcomes using the heart-team hybrid approach with 455 patients.

METHODS: From 1 March 2013 to 1 July 2019, we prospectively collected data on all patients referred to our heart team for rhythm-control strategy for AF. Baseline characteristics, procedural complications and long-term freedom from AF (FFAF) both on and off anti-arrhythmic drug therapy were analysed. Ambulatory monitoring (>7 days) was obtained at 3 months and annually thereafter.

RESULTS: Four hundred and fifty-five patients completed the hybrid approach. Four hundred and forty-five (97.8%) patients had non-paroxysmal AF (long-standing persistent AF n = 249, 54.7%; persistent AF n = 196, 43.1%; paroxysmal AF n = 10, 2.2%). Average duration of AF was 5.9 ± 6.1 years. Average left atrial diameter was 4.8 ± 0.8 cm. FFAF at 3, 12, 24 and 36 months was 92%, 87%, 81% and 72%, respectively. FFAF without the use of anti-arrhythmic medications was 75%, 81%, 76% and 66%. Any surgical complications occurred in 28 (6.1%) patients.

CONCLUSIONS: A heart-team hybrid strategy for the treatment of AF is safe and effective. In a predominantly non-paroxysmal population with AF, at the 3-year follow-up, FFAF in patients on and off anti-arrhythmic drugs approaches that of patients who had the Cox-maze IV.

Clinical Institute

Cardiovascular (Heart)