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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Feasibility and efficacy of minimally invasive stand-alone surgical ablation of atrial fibrillation. A single-center experience.

PURPOSE: Minimally invasive surgical ablation for atrial fibrillation (AF) has shown good results and low complications incidence. Our objective was to evaluate feasibility and efficacy of this technique in our center. METHODS: The procedure included pulmonary vein isolation, ganglionic plexi ablation, ligament of Marshall resection, and left atrial appendage exclusion through beating heart minimally invasive bilateral thoracotomies. Patients were monitored daily by telemedicine during the first 4 months and then by quarterly 24-h Holter monitoring or by implantable cardiac monitor. Ablation success was defined as freedom from any atrial tachyarrhythmia recurrence lasting more than 30 s and from antiarrhythmic drugs. All patients were followed up for a minimum of 12 months. RESULTS: Twenty-two consecutive patients with AF, paroxysmal in 27% and persistent in 73%, were treated. Mean age was 63 ± 10 years, 86% were men. Seventy-three percent of patients had previously undergone to one or more catheter ablations. Median follow-up period was 22 months (25°-75° percentile, 20-27). Patients free from any arrhythmia recurrence for at least 6 consecutive months discontinued antiarrhythmic therapy. Ablation was successful in 73% of patients at 12 months. Freedom from AF recurrences independently from antiarrhythmic therapy status was 91% at 12 months. Results were consistent in patients that reached 24 months follow-up. There were no deaths. Complications were: one conversion to sternotomy owing to thoracic adherences, one pacemaker implant, and one postoperative hemothorax requiring surgical revision. CONCLUSIONS: Our results show that minimally invasive surgical ablation was feasible and gave satisfactory results at long-term term follow-up in patients with AF.[1]


  1. Feasibility and efficacy of minimally invasive stand-alone surgical ablation of atrial fibrillation. A single-center experience. Santini, M., Loiaconi, V., Tocco, M.P., Mele, F., Pandozi, C. J. Interv. Card. Electrophysiol (2012) [Pubmed]
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