Background: The rhythm control of atrial fibrillation (AF) associated with mitral stenosis (MS) is often difficult using antiarrhythmic drugs (AADs), even after a percutaneous transvenous mitral commissurotomy (PTMC). Few studies have examined the efficacy and safety of simultaneously performing radiofrequency catheter ablation (RFCA) and a PTMC in patients with MS and AF.
Methods: Twenty consecutive patients with drug-resistant AF and rheumatic MS underwent RFCA combined with a PTMC (n = 10; persistent AF-8, long-lasting [>1 year] persistent AF-2; RFCA group) or transthoracic direct cardioversion (DC) following a PTMC (n = 10; persistent AF-7, long-lasting persistent AF-3; DC group). In all patients, the mitral valve morphology was amenable to a PTMC, and more than 2 AADs had been ineffective in maintaining sinus rhythm (SR). In the RFCA group, a segmental pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) was performed in the initial 5 patients, and an extensive PVI was performed in the remaining 5.
Results: During a mean follow-up period of 4.0 +/- 2.7 years, 8 patients (80%) in the RFCA group were maintained in SR, as compared to 1 (10%) in the DC group (hazard ratio, 0.16; 95% confidence interval, 0.03 to 0.75; P = 0.008 by the log-rank test). The prevalence of the concomitant use of class I and/or class III AADs was comparable between the 2 groups (P = 0.70). No complications occurred during the procedure or follow-up period in either group.
Conclusions: The hybrid therapy using RFCA and a PTMC was safe and feasible, and significantly improved the AF free survival rate compared to DC following a PTMC.