Midterm clinical outcomes of concomitant thoracoscopic epicardial and transcatheter endocardial ablation for persistent and long-standing persistent atrial fibrillation: a single-centre experience

Europace. 2017 Jan;19(1):58-65. doi: 10.1093/europace/euw026. Epub 2016 May 31.


Aims: The purpose of this study was to analyse the efficacy and complication rates of the simultaneous hybrid procedure in a series of patients with persistent and long-standing persistent atrial fibrillation (AF) in a midterm follow-up.

Methods and results: Sixty-four consecutive patients (56 males, 59.7 ± 8.7 years) having undergone isolation of pulmonary veins (PVs) and posterior wall of left atrium (LA) by means of hybrid thoracoscopic ablation for symptomatic persistent (n = 21, 33%) and long-standing persistent AF (n = 43, 67%) were analysed. At a mean follow-up of 23.1 ± 14.1 months (median 21; range 6-57), the success rate without antiarrhythmic therapy was achieved in 67.2% of patients. Procedure-related complications were observed in 13 patients (20.3%) including 2 LA perforations (3.1%) requiring, respectively, conversion to sternotomy and small left-sided thoracotomy. The success rate did not significantly differ between persistent and long-standing persistent AF (respectively, 71.4 and 65.1%; P = 0.4). Patients with AF relapse during the blanking period were 4.60 times more likely to have AF recurrence after 3 months from the ablation procedure.

Conclusion: The hybrid procedure yields promising results in the setting of both persistent and long-standing persistent AF after midterm follow-up, at the expense of a non-negligible rate of adverse events. Our findings need to be confirmed by further larger and prospective studies.

Keywords: Catheter ablation; Hybrid procedure; Long-standing persistent atrial fibrillation; Pulmonary vein isolation; Surgical ablation.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents / therapeutic use
  • Atrial Fibrillation / diagnosis
  • Atrial Fibrillation / physiopathology
  • Atrial Fibrillation / surgery*
  • Belgium
  • Catheter Ablation* / adverse effects
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Endocardium / physiopathology
  • Endocardium / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pericardium / physiopathology
  • Pericardium / surgery*
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Recurrence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Thoracoscopy* / adverse effects
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents