Thoracoscopic radiofrequency ablation for lone atrial fibrillation: Box-lesion technique

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Background We report the feasibility and outcomes of box-lesion ablation technique to treat stand-alone atrial fibrillation (AF). Methods There were 31 patients with a mean age of 63.3 ± 8.4 years who underwent bilateral totally thoracoscopic ablation of symptomatic paroxysmal AF (n = 8; 25.8%) and long-standing persistent AF (n = 23; 75.2%). The box-lesion procedure included bilateral pulmonary vein and left atrial posterior wall ablation using irrigated bipolar radiofrequency with documentation of conduction block. Results There were no intra- or perioperative ablation-related complications. There was no operative mortality, no myocardial infarction, and no stroke. Skin-to-skin procedure time was 152.1 ± 36.7 min and the postoperative average length of stay was 6.26 ± 1.24 days. At discharge, 29 patients (93.5%) were in sinus rhythm. Median follow-up time was 20.4 ± 8.3 months. At three months postsurgery, 20 patients of 30 (66.6%) were free from AF without the need of antiarrhythmic drugs. Six patients (20%) underwent catheter reablation. Twenty-three patients (76.6%) were in sinus rhythm at one year after the last performed ablation (surgical ablation or catheter reablation). Conclusion The thoracoscopic box-lesion ablation procedure is a safe, effective, and minimally invasive method for the treatment of isolated (lone) AF. This procedure provided excellent short-term freedom from AF.




Klvacek, A., Steriovsky, A., Konecny, J., Skala, T., Lonsky, V., & Santavy, P. (2017). Thoracoscopic radiofrequency ablation for lone atrial fibrillation: Box-lesion technique. Cor et Vasa, 59(4), e332–e336.

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