The efficacy of catheter-based or thoracoscopic ablation for treating long-standing persistent atrial fibrillation (AF) with a dilated atrium remains suboptimal. This study aimed to assess the feasibility and initial results of simultaneous hybrid ablation with a new biatrial lesion set in these patients.
Twenty-seven consecutive patients with long-standing persistent AF and dilated atrium underwent simultaneous hybrid ablation with a new biatrial lesion set consistent with the principle of the Cox maze procedure at our institution. Patients were followed up at 3, 6, and 12 months after the procedure and annually thereafter.
After thoracoscopic epicardial ablation, endocardial mapping confirmed complete bilateral pulmonary vein isolation in 25 patients (96.2%). All patients were followed for a mean of 18.7 ± 8.9 months. Freedom from atrial tachyarrhythmia at 1 year after the single hybrid procedure was 64% with antiarrhythmic drugs and 60% without antiarrhythmic drugs. Freedom from atrial tachyarrhythmia at latest follow-up after the hybrid procedure and redo catheter ablation was 77.8% with antiarrhythmic drugs and 74.1% without antiarrhythmic drugs. In patients with sinus rhythm restoration, mean left atrial diameter decreased from 54.4 ± 4.3 mm to 45.2 ± 4.1 mm (P < .001), and mean right atrial diameter decreased from 59.4 ± 3.9 mm to 54.9 ± 4.4 mm (P < .001). Postoperative pleural effusion was observed in 3 patients (11.1%), and no adverse events occurred during follow-up.
In patients with long-standing persistent AF and a dilated atrium, simultaneous hybrid ablation with the new biatrial lesion set, in combination with touch-up catheter ablation when necessary, can achieve promising results. More studies are needed to confirm these findings.