Mid-term outcomes of concomitant Cox-Maze IV: Results from a multicenter prospective registry

J Card Surg. 2022 Oct;37(10):3006-3013. doi: 10.1111/jocs.16777. Epub 2022 Jul 23.


Background: Benefits of concomitant atrial fibrillation (AF) surgical treatment are well established. Cardiac societies support treating AF during cardiac surgery with a class I recommendation. Despite these guidelines, adoption has been inconsistent. We report results of routine performance of concomitant Cox-Maze IV (CMIV) from participating centers using a standardized, prospective registry.

Methods: Nine surgeons at four cardiac surgery programs enrolled 807 patients undergoing concomitant CMIV surgery over 12 years. Lesions were created using bipolar radiofrequency clamps and cryoablation probes. Follow-up occurred at 3- and 6-months, then annually for 3 years. Freedom from AF was defined as no episode >30 s of atrial arrhythmia.

Results: Sixty-four percent of patients were male, mean age 69 years, mean left atrial size 4.6 cm, mean preoperative AF duration 4.0 years, mean EuroSCORE 6.4, and mean CHADS2 score 3.1. Thirty-day postoperative mortality and neurologic event rates were 3.3% and 1.3%, respectively. New pacemaker implant rate was 6.3%. Freedom from AF rates at 1- and 3-years stratified by preoperative AF type were: paroxysmal 94.6% and 87.5%, persistent 82.1% and 81.9%, and longstanding persistent 84.1% and 78.1%. At 3-year follow up, 84% of patients were off antiarrhythmic drugs and 74% of sinus rhythm patients were off oral anticoagulants.

Conclusions: Routine CMIV is safe and effective. Acceptable outcomes can be achieved across multiple centers and multiple operators even in a moderate risk patient population undergoing more complex procedures. Surgeons and institutions should be encouraged by all cardiac societies to adopt the CMIV procedure to maximize patient benefit.

Keywords: cardiovascular research; clinical review.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Atrial Fibrillation* / complications
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures* / methods
  • Catheter Ablation* / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Registries
  • Treatment Outcome

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