OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to determine the success rates of left atrial radiofrequency cardiac ablation for atrial fibrillation during heart valve surgery. METHODS: This was a three-year retrospective study of 53 patients who had valve surgery and cardio-ablation. Immediate and long-term overall outcomes were analysed at three, six, nine, 12 and 24 months. The results were tested for significance by comparing to a chance outcome (50:50 probability) using the Z-test for the normal approximation of the binomial distribution. RESULTS: A total of 56.9% of patients converted immediately to sinus rhythm, with that number increasing over time. Pre-operative poor ejection fraction was the only predictor of low success rates following ablation. Long-term rhythm was determined by the patient's rhythm between three and six months. CONCLUSIONS: Concomitant left atrial ablation during valve surgery is effective in treating atrial fibrillation. Routine use of anti-arrhythmic medication after surgical ablation is not recommended.
- atrial fibrillation