BACKGROUND: Hybrid ablation (HA) of atrial fibrillation (AF) combines minimally invasive thoracoscopic epicardial ablation with transvenous endocardial electrophysiologic validation and touch-up of incomplete epicardial lesions if needed. While studies have reported on a bilateral thoracoscopic HA approach, data on a unilateral left-sided approach are scarce.

AIM: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of a unilateral left-sided thoracoscopic approach.

METHODS: Retrospective analysis of a prospectively gathered cohort of all consecutive patients undergoing a unilateral left-sided HA for AF between 2015 and 2018 in the Maastricht University Medical Centre.

RESULTS: One-hundred nineteen patients were analyzed (mean age 64 ± 8, 28% female, mean body mass index 28 ± 4 kg/m2 , median CHA2 DS2 -VASc Score 2 [1-3], [longstanding]-persistent AF 71%, previous catheter ablation 44%). In all patients, a unilateral left-sided HA consisting of pulmonary vein (PV) isolation, posterior left atrial (LA) wall isolation, and LA appendage exclusion was attempted. Epicardial (n = 59) and/or endocardial validation (n = 81) was performed and endocardial touch-up was performed in 33 patients. Major peri-operative complications occurred in 5% of all patients. After 12 and 24 months, the probability of being free from supraventricular tachyarrhythmia recurrence was 80% [73-87] and 67% [58-76], respectively, when allowing antiarrhythmic drugs.

CONCLUSION: Unilateral left-sided hybrid AF ablation is an efficacious and safe approach to treat patients with paroxysmal and (longstanding) persistent AF. Future studies should compare a unilateral with a bilateral approach to determine whether a left-sided approach is as efficacious as a bilateral approach and allows for less complications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4630-4638
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cardiac Surgery
Issue number12
Early online date9 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

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