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Some Surgical Aspects of Atrial Fibrillation Vincent A. Gaudiani, MD Luis J. Castro, MD Audrey L. Fisher, MPH.

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Presentation on theme: "Some Surgical Aspects of Atrial Fibrillation Vincent A. Gaudiani, MD Luis J. Castro, MD Audrey L. Fisher, MPH."— Presentation transcript:

1 Some Surgical Aspects of Atrial Fibrillation Vincent A. Gaudiani, MD Luis J. Castro, MD Audrey L. Fisher, MPH

2 The Nature of Surgical Intervention Demands a Simplified Model of What May Be a Complex Problem

3 Conceptual strip of atrium with normal depolarization Initial impulse Impulse travels Impulse completes circuit while tissue is still depolarized Tissue repolarizes – ready for next impulse Yellow tissue is repolarized and ready to conduct. Green tissue is depolarized and cannot currently conduct.

4 Each macro-reentrant pathway must have a conduction time sufficiently long to permit initially depolarized muscle to repolarize before the depolarizing wavefront returns. This will depend on the: Physical length of the pathway Conductance of the pathway

5 Macro-reentrant pathways NormalAbnormally Long Abnormally Slow

6 Macro-reentrant pathways N NormalLongSlow Initial impulse Impulse travels: farther in long circuit and at slwoer speed in slow circuit. Both of these circuits allow for tissue to repolarize by the time the impulse completes the circuit. Circuit complete: normal circuit tissue is still depolarized and unable to conduct again. The time delay in long and slow circuits creates tissue that is repolarized by the time the circuit is complete, and the impulse can be conducted again and again. N NormalSlow Long N NormalLongSlow Yellow tissue is repolarized and ready to conduct. Green tissue is depolarized and cannot currently conduct.

7 Cox and his colleagues demonstrated that atrial fibrillation may be seen as the result of the interaction of a finite number of macro-reentrant pathways AND that each pathway correlated with an anatomic feature of the atria.

8 Cox reasoned that surgical interdiction of each of these pathways would preclude sustained atrial fibrillation.

9 The likely Anatomic Pathways are around the right atrium: Venae Cavae Atrial Septum Tricuspid Valve Right Atrial Appendage

10 The likely Anatomic Pathways are around the left atrium: Pulmonary Veins Mitral Valve Atrial Septum Left Atrial Appendage

11 Surprisingly, other research has shown that atrial fibrillation is frequently initiated within the cuff of tissue comprised by the pulmonary veins and the local atrial tissue around them. - Perhaps 70-80% of atrial fibrillation can be prevented solely by isolating this tissue from the rest of the atrium.

12 Optimum Therapy of AF demands: Ablation of AF Restoration of AV Synchrony Restoration of AV Transport

13 Optimum therapy corrects the clinical problems associated with AF: Atrial thrombus formation Decreased cardiac efficiency Palpitations Need for anticoagulation

14 Surgical incisions in the right atrium Excise right atrial appendage Extend from right atrial appendage to tricuspid valve SVC to IVC straight line incision Extend from caval incision to tricuspid

15 Surgical incisions in the left atrium Excise left atrial appendage Extend from appendage to epv Extend from mitral annulus to epv Cut atrial septum through fossa ovalis Left atriotomy Encircle pulmonary veins (epv)

16 The Cox/Maze III operation restores AV synchrony and transport in > 70-80% of patients by isolating the pulmonary vein cuff and placing surgical incisions through each of the major macro-reentrant circuits. Every segment of the atria, except the pulmonary vein cuff, remains in electrical contact with the SA node.

17 Maze Results I From October 1997 through December 2003 we performed 162 Maze operations as follows: Maze Only11 Maze and Mitral Valve Only74 Maze and Any Other77

18 Maze Results II In the entire series of 162 cases, there were three operative mortalities (1.9%). These occurred in high-risk patients. There have not been any deaths in reasonable or low risk patients.

19 Maze Results III We follow up with our Maze patients on an annual basis. Our follow up of August 2003 included 133 patients from between three months to over five years out from the time of operation. The percentage of patients in normal rhythm at 2003 follow up was: Maze Only 91% (10/11) Maze and Mitral Valve Only 92% (55/60) Maze and Any Other 89% (55/62)

20 Conclusion The Cox/Maze procedure is an effective treatment for atrial fibrillation for some patients who require cardiac operations.


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