Initial experience with the convergent procedure for longstanding persistent atrial fibrillation: A 5 year dataset.
ABSTRACT: In patients with longstanding persistent atrial fibrillation (AF), outcomes from catheter ablation remain suboptimal. The convergent procedure combines minimally invasive surgical ablation with subsequent catheter ablation, and may contribute towards maintenance of sinus rhythm in this patient group. We performed the convergent procedure on 43 patients with longstanding persistent AF from 2013-2018. Patients underwent clinical review at 3, 6, and 12 months and thereafter as necessitated by their symptoms. Our dataset describes patients' baseline characteristics and rhythm control protocols, as well as outcomes including arrhythmia recurrence, the need for antiarrhythmic drugs, requirement for repeat rhythm control procedures, and complications. These data provide a real world insight into the risks and benefits of the convergent procedure in patients with longstanding persistent AF.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Success rates with conventional transvenous endocardial pulmonary vein isolation in patients with persistent and longstanding persistent atrial fibrillation (AF) are variable due to advanced electrical and structural remodeling of the atria. As a consequence, more extensive endocardial lesions, minimally invasive thoracoscopic surgical techniques, and hybrid ablation (combining thoracoscopic epicardial surgical and endocardial catheter ablation) have been developed. HYPOTHESIS:The HARTCAP-AF trial hypothesizes that hybrid AF ablation is more effective than (repeated) transvenous endocardial catheter ablation in (longstanding) persistent AF, without increasing the number of associated major adverse events. METHODS:This randomized controlled trial will include 40 patients with persistent or longstanding persistent AF who will be 1:1 randomized to either hybrid ablation or (repeated) catheter ablation. The procedures and follow-up are conducted according to the guidelines. The primary effectiveness endpoint is freedom from any supraventricular arrhythmia lasting longer than 5?min without the use of Vaughan-Williams class I or III antiarrhythmic drugs through 12?months of follow-up after the last procedure. In the catheter ablation arm, a second procedure planned within 6?months after the index procedure is allowed for obtaining the primary endpoint. Additionally, adverse events, cost-effectiveness, and quality of life data will be recorded. TRIAL REGISTRATION:ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02441738 . Registered on 12 May 2015.
Project description:Catheter ablation is a well-established treatment for patients with AF in whom sinus rhythm is desired. Both radiofrequency catheter ablation and cryoablation are widely performed, rapidly developing techniques. Convergent ablation is a novel hybrid technique combining an endocardial radiofrequency ablation with a minimally invasive epicardial surgical ablation. Some suggest that hybrid ablation may be more effective than lone endocardial ablation in achieving the elusive goal of maintaining sinus rhythm in patients with non-paroxysmal AF. In this article, the authors examine the safety and efficacy of catheter ablation and convergent ablation for long-standing, persistent AF. We also outline the crucial role that electrophysiologists play, not only as a procedure operator, but also as the coordinator and developer of this multidisciplinary service.
Project description:The management of non-paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (AF) remains controversial. We examined the efficacy and safety of the 2 stage Hybrid AF ablation approach by analysing the largest series of this technique reported so far. Methods:The approach aims to electrically isolate the left atrial posterior wall incorporating the pulmonary veins ('box-set'pattern). An initial video-assisted thoracoscopic (VATS) epicardial ablation is followed after a minimum of 8 weeks by endocardial radiofrequency catheter ablation. Results:Of 175 patients from 4 European cardiothoracic centers, who underwent the surgical (COBRA Fusion, AtriCure Inc) 1st stage ablation, 166 went on to complete 2nd stage catheter ablation. At median follow up of 18 months post 2nd stage procedure 93/166 (56%) had remained free of AF or atrial tachycardia (AT) recurrence off antiarrhythmic drugs. 110/175 62.9% were in sinus rhythm off all antiarrhythmic drugs at last clinic follow-up (132/175 75.4% including those on antiarrhythmic drugs). 18 patients (10.8%) underwent a further re-do ablation (mean of 1.1 ablations per patient) 105/166 (63%) remained free of AF/AT recurrence off antiarrhythmic drugs following last ablation procedure.Latterly, ILRs have been implanted in patients (n = 56); 60% have remained fully arrhythmia free and 80% have shown AF burden < 5% at a median 14 months follow-up [IQR: 13.5 (8-21.5)]. Only 10.9% have reverted to persistent AF. 5 patients (2.9%) had a perioperative stroke and 4 patients (2.3%) exhibited persistent weakness of the right hemidiaphragm following stage 1 VATS epicardial ablation. One patient died following stroke (overall mortality 0.6%). Conclusions:In patients with non-paroxysmal AF with unfavourable characteristics for catheter ablation, the staged hybrid approach results in acceptable levels of freedom from recurrent atrial arrhythmia, however, complication rates are higher than with catheter ablation alone.
Project description:Detection of concurrent diastolic dysfunction (DD) may be beneficial in patients with persistent and longstanding persistent atrial fibrillation (AF). The role of transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) in assessing DD in patients with AF has not been well characterized. We sought to determine the utility of TTE in detecting elevated left atrial pressure (LAP) in patients with persistent and longstanding persistent non-valvular AF using directly measured LAP as the reference standard.We retrospectively studied 157 patients with persistent AF and preserved left ventricular ejection fraction who underwent pulmonary vein isolation (PVI). LAP was determined in conjunction with trans-septal puncture at the time of catheter ablation. TTE was performed 1 day after PVI and included two dimensional, pulse wave spectral Doppler and tissue Doppler assessments.The clinical parameter that strongly correlated with elevated LAP is longstanding persistent AF. Four strongest TTE parameters identified to moderately correlate with LAP include 1. left atrial minimum volume (LAVmin), 2. peak velocity of early mitral diastolic inflow velocity (E), 3. pulmonary vein systolic flow velocity (PVS), and 4. ratio of early diastolic transmitral inflow velocity to mitral annular velocity at the lateral site (E/E' lateral).Accurate assessment of diastolic dysfunction in patients with persistent and longstanding persistent AF is difficult using TTE. A combination of LAVmin, PVS, and E might be helpful to determine elevated LAP.
Project description:Objective:Catheter ablation of persistent atrial fibrillation (AF) is still challenging, no optimal extra-pulmonary vein lesion set is known. We previously reported the clinical feasibility of computational modeling-guided AF catheter ablation. Methods:We randomly assigned 118 patients with persistent AF (77.8% men, age 60.8 ± 9.9 years) to the computational modeling-guided ablation group (53 patients) and the empirical ablation group (55 patients) based on the operators' experience. For virtual ablation, four virtual linear and one electrogram-guided lesion sets were tested on patient heart computed tomogram-based models, and the lesion set with the fastest termination time was reported to the operator in the modeling-guided ablation group. The primary outcome was freedom from atrial tachyarrhythmias lasting longer than 30 s after a single procedure. Results:During 31.5 ± 9.4 months, virtual ablation procedures were available in 95.2% of the patients (108/118). Clinical recurrence rate was significantly lower after a modeling-guided ablation than after an empirical ablation (20.8 vs. 40.0%, log-rank p = 0.042). Modeling-guided ablation was independently associated with a better long-term rhythm outcome of persistent AF ablation (HR = 0.29 [0.12-0.69], p = 0.005). The rhythm outcome of the modeling-guided ablation showed better trends in males, non-obese patients with a less remodeled atrium (left atrial dimension < 50 mm), ejection fraction ? 50%, and those without hypertension or diabetes (p < 0.01). There were no significant differences between the groups for the total procedure time (p = 0.403), ablation time (p = 0.510), and major complication rate (p = 0.900). Conclusion:Among patients with persistent AF, the computational modeling-guided ablation was superior to the empirical catheter ablation regarding the rhythm outcome. Clinical Trial Registration:This study was registered with the ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT02171364.
Project description:The Cox maze IV procedure (CMPIV) has been established as the gold standard for surgical ablation; however, late outcomes using current consensus definitions of treatment failure have not been well described. To compare to reported outcomes of catheter-based ablation, we report our institutional outcomes of patients who underwent a left-sided or biatrial CMPIV at 5 years of follow-up.Between January 2002 and September 2014, data were collected prospectively on 576 patients with AF who underwent a CMPIV (n = 532) or left-sided CMPIV (n = 44). Perioperative variables and long-term freedom from AF, with and without AADs, were compared in multiple subgroups.Follow-up at any time point was 89%. At 5 years, overall freedom from AF was 93 of 119 (78%), and freedom from AF off AADs was 77 of 177 (66%). No differences were found in freedom from AF, with or without AADs, at 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 years for patients with paroxysmal AF (n = 204) versus with persistent/longstanding persistent AF (n = 305), or for those who underwent standalone versus a concomitant CMP. Duration of preoperative AF and hospital length of stay were the best predictors of failure at 5 years.The outcomes of the CMPIV remain good at late follow-up. The type of preoperative AF or the addition of a concomitant procedure did not affect late success. The results of the CMPIV remain superior to those reported for catheter ablation and other forms of surgical AF ablation, especially for patients with persistent or longstanding AF.
Project description: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 >30 s 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%.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Although circumferential pulmonary vein isolation (CPVI) catheter ablation may not be sufficient for long-standing persistent atrial fibrillation (L-PeAF), it is not clear which ablation strategy is beneficial in addition to CPVI. We sought to investigate whether additional complex fractionated atrial electrogram (CFAE)-guided ablation improves clinical outcomes in L-PeAF patients who exhibit continuous atrial fibrillation (AF) after CPVI and linear ablation (Line). METHODS AND RESULTS:This study enrolled 137 L-PeAF patients (71.4% male, 61.6±10.9 years old) who underwent radiofrequency catheter ablation. We conducted CPVI+Line based on the Dallas lesion set (posterior box+anterior line) after baseline CFAE mapping in all patients. If AF was defragmented (terminated or changed to atrial tachycardia), the procedure was stopped (AF-Defrag group, n=29). If AF was maintained after CPVI+Line, we mapped the CFAE again and randomly assigned the patient to the CPVI+Line group (n=54) or the additional CFAE ablation group (CPVI+Line+CFAE group, n=54). L-PeAF was defragmented during CPVI+Line in 21.2% of patients (29/137, AF-Defrag group). The mean CFAE cycle length was prolonged (P<0.001), and CFAE area (CFAE cycle length <120 milliseconds) was reduced (P<0.001) after CPVI+Line in the remaining patients. Procedure time was longer in the CPVI+Line+CFAE group than the CPVI+Line group (P=0.023), but procedure-related complication rates did not vary. During 22.3±13.2 months of follow-up, the clinical recurrence rates were 17.2% in the AF-Defrag group, 18.5% in the CPVI+Line group, and 32.1% in the CPVI+Line+CFAE group (log rank, P=0.166). CONCLUSIONS:Although CPVI+Line reduces and localizes CFAE area, additional CFAE ablation after CPVI+Line does not improve the clinical outcomes of catheter ablation in patients with L-PeAF.
Project description:To overcome limitations of minimally invasive surgical ablation as a standalone procedure in eliminating atrial fibrillation (AF), hybrid approaches incorporating adjunctive endovascular catheter ablation have been proposed in recent years. The endovascular component targets residual conduction gaps and identifies additional electrophysiological targets with the goal of minimizing recurrent atrial arrhythmia. We performed a systematic review of published studies of hybrid AF ablation, analyzing 432 pooled patients (19% paroxysmal, 29% persistent, 52% long-standing persistent) treated using three different approaches: A. bilateral thoracoscopy with bipolar radiofrequency (RF) clamp-based approach; B. right thoracoscopic suction monopolar RF catheter-based approach; and C. subxiphoid posterior pericardioscopic ("convergent") approach. Freedom from recurrence off antiarrhythmic medications at 12 months was seen in 88.1% [133/151] for A, 73.4% [47/64] for B, and 59.3% [80/135] for C, with no significant difference between paroxysmal (76.9%) and persistent/long-standing persistent AF (73.4%). Death and major surgical complications were reported in 8.5% with A, 0% with B and 8.6% with C. A critical appraisal of hybrid ablation is presented, drawing from experiences and insights published over the years on catheter ablation of AF, with a discussion of the rationale underlying hybrid ablation, its strengths and limitations, where it may have a unique role in clinical management of patients with AF, which questions remain unanswered and areas for further investigation.
Project description:Background Although it has been reported that renal function can improve after catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation (AF), long-term changes in renal function and its relationship to rhythm outcomes have not yet been evaluated. We explored the 5-year change in estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) in AF patients depending on medical therapy and catheter ablation. Methods and Results Among 1963 patients who underwent AF catheter ablation and 14 056 with AF under medical therapy in the National Health Insurance Service database, we compared 571 with AF catheter ablation (59±10 years old, 72.3% male, and 66.5% paroxysmal AF) and 1713 with medical therapy after 1:3 propensity-score matching. All participants had 5 years of serial eGFR data (Chronic Kidney Disease-Epidemiology Collaboration [CKD-EPI] method). Catheter ablation improved eGFR5 yrs (P<0.001), but medical therapy did not. In 2284 matched patients, age (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 0.98 [0.97-0.99]; P<0.001) and AF catheter ablation (adjusted OR, 2.02 [1.67-2.46]; P<0.001) were independently associated with an improved eGFR5 yrs. Among 571 patients who underwent AF ablation, freedom from AF/atrial tachycardia recurrence after the last AF ablation procedure was independently associated with an improved eGFR5 yrs (adjusted OR, 1.44 [1.01-2.04]; P=0.043), especially in patients without diabetes mellitus (adjusted OR, 1.78 [1.21-2.63]; P=0.003, P for interaction=0.012). Although underlying renal dysfunction (<60 mL/min/1.73m2) was associated with atrial structural remodeling (adjusted OR, 1.05 [1.00-1.11]; P=0.046), it did not affect the AF ablation rhythm outcome. Conclusions AF catheter ablation significantly improved renal function over a 5-year follow-up, especially in patients maintaining sinus rhythm without preexisting diabetes mellitus.