Hybrid epicardial-endocardial ablation using a pericardioscopic technique for the treatment of atrial fibrillation

Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Electronic address: .
Heart rhythm: the official journal of the Heart Rhythm Society (Impact Factor: 5.08). 09/2012; 10(1). DOI: 10.1016/j.hrthm.2012.08.044
Source: PubMed


BACKGROUND: Catheter ablation is an effective treatment for medically refractory, disabling atrial fibrillation (AF). Ablation success may be limited in patients with persistent or long-standing persistent AF. A pericardioscopic, hybrid epicardial-endocardial technique for AF ablation may be a preferred approach for such patients. Limited data are available by using such an approach. OBJECTIVE: XXX METHODS: A cohort of 101 patients underwent AF ablation using a transdiaphragmatic pericardioscopic, hybrid epicardial-endocardial technique. Patients were followed with 24-hour Holter monitors at 3-, 6-, and 12-month intervals. Symptom severity was assessed at baseline and follow-up by using the Canadian Cardiovascular Society Severity of Atrial Fibrillation scale. RESULTS: Mean AF duration was 5.9 years; 47% were persistent and 37% were long-standing persistent. Mean left atrial size was 5.1 cm (range 3.3-7 cm). Overall, 12-month arrhythmia-free survival was 66.3% after a single ablation procedure and 70.5% including repeat ablation. Repeat ablation was required in 6% of the patients and antiarrhythmic drug therapy in 37% of the patients. Quality of life improved significantly and was durable over 12-month follow-up. There were 2 deaths, which occurred in the early postoperative period: one due to atrioesophageal fistula and the second due to sudden cardiac death without apparent cause by autopsy. CONCLUSIONS: We report the largest series to date of a hybrid epicardial-endocardial, stand-alone ablation procedure using a pericardioscopic technique for the treatment of AF. While respecting the identified complications, our results demonstrate a high potential for successful treatment in a challenging patient population with AF.

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Available from: Eugene H Chung
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    • "In another three papers [18] [20] [23], OA was discontinued after 3 months if patients were in SR. Finally, in two studies [22] [24], OA were withdrawn at the discretion of the referring cardiologist, whereas the OA protocol was not specified in one paper. [25]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The hybrid approach combines an epicardial ablation with a percutaneous endocardial ablation in a single-step or sequential procedure. This study provides an overview of the hybrid procedure for the treatment of stand-alone atrial fibrillation (AF). Papers selected for this review were identified on PubMed and the final selection included nine studies. The total number of patients was 335 (range 15–101). Mean age ranged from 55.2 to 62.9 years. The hybrid approach achieved satisfactory results, with AF-antiarrhythmic drug-free success rates higher than those in isolated procedures. In particular, the bilateral approach with a bipolar device showed a high success rate independently of the AF type and seems to be the better choice for the hybrid procedure. Despite good preliminary results, large, multicentre trials of hybrid AF ablation that target a population of patients with long-standing persistent disease are necessary to establish whether this approach may represent, in the future, a gold-standard treatment for AF.
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    ABSTRACT: New hybrid approaches for atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation, combining surgical and percutaneous procedures, are emerging to enhance the long-term success rate of these 2 procedures severally considered. Recent guidelines underline the need for long-term follow-up to really assess the efficacy of AF ablation. From 2000 to 2002, 33 patients with long-standing persistent AF and valvular heart disease underwent valve surgery and cryoablation (pulmonary veins isolation and mitral isthmus and roof line lesions). The surgically created ablation scheme was validated with electroanatomic mapping and percutaneous radiofrequency ablation was performed in case of lesion incompleteness. In 19 of 33 patients (58%) the electroanatomic mapping showed a complete lesion scheme, which increased to 79% (26 of 33) with the addition of radiofrequency ablation. At the mean follow-up of 10.7 ± 3.1 years, 73% (24 of 33) of patients were in sinus rhythm (SR), whereas 27% had permanent AF. At the end of follow-up 81% of patients with a complete lesion scheme were in SR, while 43% with an incomplete one maintained SR (p = 0.048). In patients with long-standing persistent AF and valvular heart disease, the hybrid approach with surgical cryoablation consisting of pulmonary veins isolation and left atrial linear lesions combined with transcatheter radiofrequency ablation was highly effective in maintaining SR for a very long-term follow-up. Electrophysiological evaluation, to validate the transmurality of the surgical lesions and to complete the lesion scheme applying radiofrequency energy, improved the long-term efficacy.
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