Hybrid atrial fibrillation ablation in patients with persistent atrial fibrillation or failed catheter ablation

M. I. H. Al-Jazairi, M. Rienstra, T. J. Klinkenberg, M. A. Mariani, I. C. van Gelder, Y. Blaauw*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
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Background Combined 'hybrid' thoracoscopic and percutaneous atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation is a strategy used to treat AF in patients with therapy-resistant symptomatic AF. We aimed to study efficacy and safety of single-stage hybrid AF ablation in patients with symptomatic persistent AF, or paroxysmal AF with failed endocardial ablation, and assess determinants of success and quality of life.

Methods We included consecutive patients undergoing single-stage hybrid AF ablation. First, we performed epicardial ablation, via thoracoscopic access, to isolate the pulmonary veins and superior caval vein and to create a posterior left atrial box. Thereafter, isolation was assessed endocardially and complementary endocardial ablation was performed, followed by cavotricuspid isthmus ablation. Efficacy was assessed by 12-lead electrocardiography and 72-hour Holter monitoring after 3, 6 and 12 months. Recurrence was defined as AF/atrial flutter/tachycardia recorded by electrocardiography or Holter monitoring lasting >30s during 1-year follow-up.

Results Fifty patients were included, 57 +/- 9 years, 38 (76%) men, 5 (10%) paroxysmal, 34 (68%) persistent and 11 (22%) long-standing persistent AF. At 1-year 38 (76%) maintained sinus rhythm off antiarrhythmic drugs. Majority of recurrences were atrial flutter (9/12 patients). Success was associated with type of AF (p = 0.039). Patients with paroxysmal AF had highest success, patients with longstanding persistent AF had lowest success. Seven (14%) patients had procedure-related complications. Quality of life improved after ablation in patients who maintained sinus rhythm.

Conclusion Success of single-stage hybrid AF ablation was 76% off antiarrhythmic drugs, being associated with type of AF. Quality of life improved significantly, Procedure-related complications occurred in 14%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-151
Number of pages10
JournalNetherlands Heart Hournal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar-2019


  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Hybrid
  • Ablation
  • Thoracoscopic
  • Pulmonary vein isolation
  • Single-stage

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