Publication Date



The Texas Heart Journal





Publication Date(s)

August 2015





PubMedCentral® Posted Date


PubMedCentral® Full Text Version


Published Open-Access



Atrial fibrillation/surgery/therapy, echocardiography, radiofrequency maze, risk factors/analysis


The radiofrequency maze procedure achieves sinus rhythm in 45%–95% of patients treated for atrial fibrillation. This retrospective study evaluates mid-term results of the radiofrequency maze—performed concomitant to elective cardiac surgery—to determine sinus-rhythm predictive factors, and describes the evolution of patients' echocardiographic variables.

From 2003 through 2011, 247 patients (mean age, 64 ± 9.5 yr) with structural heart disease (79.3% mitral disease) and atrial fibrillation underwent a concomitant radiofrequency modified maze procedure. Patients were monitored by 24-hour Holter at 3, 6, 12, and 24 months, then annually. Eighty-four mitral-valve patients underwent regular echocardiographic follow-up. Univariate and multivariate analysis for risk factors of maze failure were identified.

The in-hospital mortality rate was 1.2%. During a median follow-up of 39.4 months, the late mortality rate was 3.6%, and pacemaker insertion was necessary in 26 patients (9.4%). Sinus rhythm was present in 63% of patients at the latest follow-up. Predictive factors for atrial fibrillation recurrence were arrhythmia duration (hazard ratio [HR]=1.296, P=0.045) and atrial fibrillation at hospital discharge (HR=2.03, P=0.019). The monopolar device favored maze success (HR=0.191, P <0.0001). Left atrial area and indexed left ventricular end-diastolic volume showed significant decrease both in sinus rhythm and atrial fibrillation patients. Early sinus rhythm conversion was associated with improved left ventricular ejection fraction.

Concomitant radiofrequency maze procedure provided remarkable outcomes. Shorter preoperative atrial fibrillation duration, monopolar device use, and prompt treatment of arrhythmia recurrences increase the midterm success rate. Early sinus rhythm restoration seems to result in better left ventricular ejection fraction recovery.



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