Efficacy of catheter ablation and surgical CryoMaze procedure in patients with long-lasting persistent atrial fibrillation and rheumatic heart disease: a randomized trial

Xu Liu, Hong-Wei Tan, Xin-Hua Wang, Hai-Feng Shi, Ying-Ze Li, Feng Li, Li Zhou, Jia-Ning Gu
European Heart Journal 2010, 31 (21): 2633-41

AIMS: Catheter ablation and surgical Maze procedure are effective in treating atrial fibrillation (AF) patients. However, there is no study that compares the effect of circumferential pulmonary vein isolation (CPVI) combined with substrate ablation after valvular surgery and the concomitant Maze procedure for the treatment of AF in patients with rheumatic heart disease (RHD). The aim of this study was to compare the effectiveness of CPVI combined with substrate modification and surgical Maze procedure using Saline-Irrigated Cooled-tip Radiofrequency Ablation (SICTRA) system for the treatment of long-lasting persistent AF in patients with RHD.

METHODS AND RESULTS: Between January 2006 and June 2008, 99 patients with long-lasting persistent AF and RHD were randomly assigned to undergo valvular operation and CPVI combined with substrate modification 6 months after the surgery (Group A, 49 patients) or valvualr operation and concomitant Maze procedure (Group B, 50 patients). The mean follow-up periods were 15 ± 5 and 20 ± 8 months in Groups A and B, respectively. After one procedure, Group B had a significantly higher freedom from artial arrhythmias compared with Group A (82% in Group B vs. 55.2% in Group A, P < 0.001). Fifteen patients in Group A underwent a redo procedure. Six patients in Group B underwent catheter ablation and four were treated successfully. The cumulative rates of sinus rhythm were 71% in Group A and 88% in Group B (P < 0.001).

CONCLUSION: The concomitant Cox Maze procedure using SICTRA is more effective than subsequent CPVI combined with substrate modification in treating patients with long-lasting persistent AF and RHD.

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