Abstract 18775: Longterm Follow-Up After Surgical Ablation Therapy for Atrial Fibrillation Using an Implantable Cardiac Rhythm Monitoring Device
Objectives: After ablation, intermittent and symptom-based monitoring of the heart rhythm may not be reliable in identifying patients with ongoing atrial fibrillation (AF). For accuracy of rhythm surveillance after surgical ablation leadless implantable cardiac rhythm monitoring devices (ICM) were implanted.
Methods: Surgically ablation of AF was accomplished following the Cox-Maze technique modified after Damiano. Lines were produced with bipolar radiofrequency using the AtriCure® clamp. Continuity near the AV-valves was achieved applying the unipolar Isolator® Pen. In each case concomitant cardiovascular procedures were necessary. At the end of the interventions the ICMs were implanted. Amiodaron was given for six and phenprocoumon for twelve postoperative months. Patient follow-up was conducted by means of transtelephonic transmission on a monthly basis. The attending physician in private practice got access to the remote monitoring.
Results: A group of 27 patients were continuously monitored over a period of three years. Preoperatively, 15% of the patients had paroxysmal, 59% persistent and 26% permanent AF. Mean postoperative AF burden as indicated by ICM declined continuously over twelve months: From 35 to 7% (preoperative paroxysmal), 60 to 25% (preoperative persistent) and 83 to 64% (preoperative permanent). ). The treatment is less effective for patients with permanent AF and severe heart failure. Atrial flutter was detected in two patients. Symptomatic bradycardia necessitated two permanent pacemakers.
Conclusion: Continuous heart rhythm monitoring with an ICM detected AF burden higher then expected. The duration of AF decreases significantly in the course of the first year only. After this period of time, anticoagulation could be reconsidered. Intensified heart rhythm follow-up and local medical networking can improve cardiac therapy.
- © 2013 by American Heart Association, Inc.