Aims. Surgical treatment for atrial fibrillation is now feasible in selective cases. The aim of this study was to assess the electrophysiological properties of patients undergoing atrial compartment operation for chronic atrial fibrillation. Methods and results. Electrophysiological studies were performed in 20 mitral valve patients with atrial fibrillation who had been maintained in sinus rhythm for more than 1 year after atrial compartment operation. Intra-cardiac recording and programmed electrical stimulation were performed in various atrial compartments. The parameters studied included sinus node function, atrial conduction and refractoriness, atrioventricular conduction function and inducible arrhythmias if any. Intra-cardiac recordings showed that the rhythm was of sinus origin in all cases, with the earliest atrial activity located in the high right atrium. The mean sinus cycle length was 750 ± 110 ms, AH time 106 ± 29 ms, and HV time 53 ± 7 ms. The sinus node function was normal in 18 patients (90%), and only two patients had prolonged sinus node recovery and sino-atrial conduction. The right atrial appendage compartment was driven by the sinus node in all patients. However, the conduction time from the high right atrium to the right atrial appendage compartment was markedly prolonged in 12 of 15 patients (80%) undergoing the three-compartment operation in which an incision was placed between the high right atrium and right atrial appendage compartments. On the other hand, the electrical activities in the left atrial compartment were much more varied. In 13 of 20 patients (65%), the left atrial compartment was driven by the sinus node; 11 of the 13 patients had a normal or mildly prolonged conduction time (ranged 75 to 146 ms), whereas two patients had a marked delay in conduction (200 ms and 266 ms, respectively). In the remaining seven patients, the left atrial compartments were dissociated from the rest of the heart; five of them had a quiescent left atrium, one a fluttering left atrial rhythm, and one a slow left atrial rhythm. The effective refractory period was longer in the left atrial compartment (242 ± 47 ms) as compared to that of the high right atrium (224 ± 26 ms, P < 0.01) and right atrial appendage compartments (219 ± 25 ms, P < 0.01). Programmed electrical stimulation could not induce atrial fibrillation in any patient, whereas two patients had inducible atrial flutter and three repetitive atrial responses. Conclusions. (1) Atrial compartment operation does not impair sinus node function in most cases. (2) Elimination of atrial fibrillation while maintaining the electrical connection between different atrial compartments is feasible.
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||European Heart Journal|
|Publication status||Published - Jan 1 1997|
- Atrial compartment operation
- Chronic atrial fibrillation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine