Int J Arrhythm.  2022 Mar;23(1):5. 10.1186/s42444-021-00056-6.

Updates in hybrid AF ablation: a hybrid approach to surgical epicardial ablation and cather endocardial ablation in persistent atrial fibrillation

  • 1Division of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, Heart Vascular and Stroke Institute, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan Univer‑ sity School of Medicine, 81 Irwin‑ro, Gangnam‑gu, Seoul 06351, Republic of Korea
  • 2Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Heart Vascular and Stroke Institute, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea


Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common and increasing cardiac arrhythmia. AF increases thromboembolic events and hospitalizations and deteriorates quality of life. The mechanism of AF is not completely understood. James Cox proposed a concept of Maze procedure in 1987 which was based on a surgical ablation lesion for electrical conduc‑ tion pathway. Although surgical ablation offers a higher success rate, it should be performed with minimally invasive techniques because of its high invasiveness. Haissaguerre et al. identified potential sources of AF in the pulmonary veins as triggers and developed the percutaneous catheter ablation as the treatment strategy for paroxysmal AF refractory to pharmaceutical therapy. The atrial remodeling occurs electrically and structurally in persistent or long‑ standing persistent AF, and the catheter ablation and surgical ablation have variable success rates. Persistent or long‑ standing persistent AF presents a major challenge. Despite continuous improvements, catheter-based procedures have shown relatively far from satisfactory outcomes and may need to be repeated to achieve sinus rhythm. A hybrid approach consisting of the sequential combination of a surgical minimally invasive epicardial ablation and a trans‑ venous catheter endocardial ablation would be an alternative option that supplements the limitations of endo- and epicardial strategies. Close cooperation between cardiac surgeons and electrophysiologists for optimal selection of patients and management for arrhythmia recurrence seems suggestible for persistent or longstanding persistent AF.


Ablation; Atrial fibrillation (AF); Hybrid approach; Surgical ablation; Thoracoscopic; Catheter ablation
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