AIMS: Transcatheter pulmonary vein ablation is the current treatment of choice for symptomatic drug-refractory atrial fibrillation (AF). Video-assisted surgical pulmonary vein isolation (sPVI) is an alternative therapy to percutaneous ablation for the treatment of AF. Long-term results of sPVI are currently unknown. The aim of this study was to report on the long-term efficacy and safety of sPVI in patients with paroxysmal AF.
METHODS AND RESULTS: The study design was observational and retrospective. From July 2005 to January 2011, 42 patients with drug-refractory paroxysmal AF underwent video-assisted sPVI in two different centres. Patients were eligible for sPVI when suffering from symptomatic, drug-refractory paroxysmal AF and they agreed to the alternative of sPVI. The median preoperative AF duration was 24 months (range 3-200). Success was defined as the absence of AF on 24 h or 96 h Holter monitoring during follow-up, off antiarrhythmic drugs (AAD). Adverse events and follow-up monitoring were based on the Heart Rhythm Society Consensus Statement 2012 for the catheter and surgical ablation of AF. Mean age was 55 ± 10 years, and 76% were males. After a mean follow-up of 5 years (SD 1.7), 69% of all patients were free from atrial arrhythmias without the use of AAD, and 83% with the use of AAD. Major peri-procedural adverse events occurred in four (9.5%) patients, no strokes or mortalities were registered during long-term follow-up.
CONCLUSION: This retrospective study shows that sPVI for the treatment of paroxysmal AF is effective and that the outcomes are maintained at long-term follow-up.