Maintenance of sinus rhythm after electrical cardioversion for recurrent atrial fibrillation following mitral valve surgery with or without associated radiofrequency ablation

Henrica N. A. M. van Breugel, Sandro Gelsomino*, Cees B. de Vos, Ryan E. Accord, Robert G. Tieleman, Fabiana Luca, Carlo Rostagno, Attilio Renzulli, Orlando Parise, Roberto Lorusso, Harry J. G. M. Crijns, Jos G. Maessen

*Corresponding author for this work

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Background: This study reports the outcomes of patients who underwent electrical cardioversion for atrial fibrillation recurrence following mitral valve surgery and associated radiofrequency ablation compared to those who did not undergo concomitant atrial fibrillation ablation. Methods: The population consisted of 116 patients with persistent/long-standing persistent AF who underwent mitral valve surgery with (Group A, n = 54) or without (Group B, n = 62) associated radiofrequency ablation between January 2007 and January 2011 at three institutions and who subsequently underwent cardioversion for persistent atrial fibrillation within 12 months of their initial procedure. Results: The mean follow-up duration was 30.7 +/- 9.4 months. Of the 104 patients with acute restoration of SR 42 (40.3%) had AF recurrence. The average time to recurrence after cardioversion was 7.3 +/- 4.2 days. Recurrence was significantly lower in patients undergoing ablation surgery (21.4%) than in those undergoing no ablation surgery (78.6%, p <0.001). Non-performed ablation procedure (p <0.001), time from surgery >= 88 days and left atrial dimensions >= 45.5 mm before cardioversion (both, p = 0.005) were multivariable predictors of atrial fibrillation recurrence. In Group B the use of amiodarone was inversely correlated with recurrence of AF (p <0.001). This correlation was not significant (r = -0.02, p = 0.85) in Group A. Conclusions: Electrical cardioversion for recurrent AF showed better results and stable recovery of sinus rhythm in patients undergoing concomitant surgical ablation during mitral valve surgery. This might be attributable to substrate modification caused by surgical lesions. Amiodarone improved the ECV-success rate only in patients with no associate ablation. Further larger randomized studies are necessary to confirm our findings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)290-296
JournalInternational Journal of Cardiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2014


  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Electrical cardioversion
  • Ablation surgery

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