Abstract

Despite many years of research, the different aspects of the mechanism of atrial fibrillation (AF) are still incompletely understood. And although the latest guidelines recommend catheter ablation with pulmonary vein isolation as a rhythm control strategy, long-term results in persistent and long-standing persistent AF are suboptimal. Historically, a mechanistic-based patient-tailored approach for the treatment of AF was impossible because of the lack real-time mapping techniques and advanced ablation tools. Therefore, surgeons created lesion sets based upon the anatomy of both atria and the safety of the incisions made by the knife. These complex open-heart procedures had to be performed through a sternotomy on the arrested heart and where therefore not generally adopted. The use of controlled energy sources such as cryothermy and radiofrequency where the first step to make the creation of these lesions less complex. With the development and improvement of electrophysiology techniques and catheters, this invasive and solely anatomical approach could again be partially redesigned. Now less invasive, it prepared the way for collaboration between electrophysiologists working on the endocardial side of the heart and cardiac surgeons providing epicardial access. The introduction of video-assisted technology and hybrid procedures has further increased the possibilities of new successful therapies. Now more than 40years since the beginning of this exciting maze of AF procedures and still working towards a less aggressive and more comprehensive approach we give an overview of the history of the different minimally invasive surgical solutions and of the hybrid approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-33
Number of pages6
JournalEP Europace
Volume23
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021

Keywords

  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Hybrid atrial fibrillation ablation
  • Catheter ablation
  • Surgical ablation Minimally invasive surgery
  • Cardiac arrhythmia
  • Thoracoscopic ablation
  • Persistent atrial fibrillation
  • Endocardial-epicardial ablation
  • Review
  • History of arrhythmia surgery
  • Historical overview
  • LEFT ATRIAL APPENDAGE
  • FIBRILLATION CATHETER ABLATION
  • PULMONARY VEIN ISOLATION
  • SURGICAL-TREATMENT
  • FOCAL IMPULSE
  • PERSISTENT
  • SUBSTRATE
  • MECHANISMS
  • CONDUCTION
  • ACTIVATION

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