Surgical Repair of Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome: A New Closed-Heart Technique

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The conventional operation for ablation of accessory pathways in Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome requires an endocardial approach and necessitates cardiopulmonary bypass and hypothermic cardiac arrest. Cryosurgical ablation of these pathways from the epicardial surface has been described but limited to superficial accessory pathways. We report a new closed-heart technique combining dissection of the atrioventricular (AV) pad and cryosurgery. Six patients with WPW syndrome underwent operation for ablation of accessory pathways associated with disabling tachyarrhythmia refractory to medical management. All pathways were located in the left lateral AV sulcus as determined by preoperative and intraoperative electrophysiological assessment. The heart was exposed through a median sternotomy. The AV fat pad and its vascular contents were dissected away from the atrium at the site of the pathway. A small segment of the ventricle adjacent to the sulcus was exposed. The fat pad was retracted to avoid cryoinjury to the coronary vessels. A cryoprobe, 1.5 cm in diameter, was applied to the exposed AV junction (- 60°C for 2 minutes) to create transmural fibrosis. After ablation of the pathway was verified, the chest was closed. All 6 patients have remained free from preexcitation during short-term follow-up. This simplified technique is applicable to patients with free wall accessory pathways. This group constitutes the majority of symptomatic patients with WPW syndrome at our institution. © 1984, The Society of Thoracic Surgeons. All rights reserved.




Guiraudon, G. M., Klein, G. J., Gulamhusein, S., Jones, D. L., Yee, R., Perkins, D. G., & Jarvis, E. (1984). Surgical Repair of Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome: A New Closed-Heart Technique. Annals of Thoracic Surgery, 37(1), 67–71.

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