Hybrid approach to atrial fibrillation ablation using bipolar radiofrequency devices epicardially and cryoballoon endocardially

Narendra Kumar*, Laurent Pison, Mark La Meir, Jos Maessen, Harry J. Crijns

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


OBJECTIVES: Bipolar radiofrequency (RF) devices are used epicardially by cardiac surgeons and cryoballoon endocardially by cardiac electrophysiologists for atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation, but in separate entities. The study's objective was to evaluate the feasibility and safety of combining an endocardial cryoballoon with epicardial bipolar RF ablation for the treatment of AF. METHODS: A cohort of 7 patients with AF underwent a hybrid thoracoscopic surgical and endocardial ablation. To prevent bilateral sequential lung deflation in these patients with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the right pulmonary veins (PVs) were isolated using an epicardial bipolar RF clamp and the contralateral veins with an endocardial cryoballoon. A box lesion set was made epicardially using a bipolar RF pen. RESULTS: Acutely, pacing manoeuvres proved a bidirectional block in all PVs in all patients. No complications were seen. A box lesion was made in 5 patients. During follow-up, 2 of them had AF recurrence: 1 was treated successfully with sotalol and another underwent redo RF catheter ablation with reisolation of the right inferior PV. At present, 6 of 7 patients are in sinus rhythm without any anti-arrythmic drugs during a follow-up of more than 40 +/- 3 months. CONCLUSIONS: A hybrid approach to AF ablation using a cryoballoon endocardially and a bipolar RF device epicardially is feasible and safe.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)590-594
JournalInteractive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014


  • Hybrid approach
  • Catheter ablation
  • Surgical/epicardial ablation
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Cryoballoon
  • Bipolar radio frequency

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