Hybrid ablation for atrial fibrillation: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Jason A. Varzaly, Dennis H. Lau, Darius Chapman, James Edwards, Michael Worthington, Prashanthan Sanders

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9 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: Both catheter and surgical ablation strategies offer effective treatments of atrial fibrillation (AF). The hybrid (joint surgical and catheter) ablation for AF is an emerging rhythm control strategy. We sought to determine the efficacy and safety of hybrid ablation of AF. Methods: Systematic review and meta-analysis interrogating PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane databases from January 1, 1991, to November 30, 2017, using the following search terms: “Cox-maze,” “mini-maze,” “ablation methods (including radiofrequency, cryoablation, cryomaze),” and “surgery.” Included studies required ablation procedures to be hybrid and report rhythm follow-up. Results: We included 925 patients with AF (38% persistent, 51% longstanding persistent) from 22 single-center studies (mean follow-up of 19 months). The surgical lesion set consisted of pulmonary vein isolation (n = 11) or box lesion (n = 11) with variable additional linear ablation. This was followed by sequential (n = 9), staged (n = 9), or combination (n = 4) catheter-based ablation to ensure isolation of pulmonary veins and to facilitate additional ablation or consolidation of surgically ablated lines. Overall, sinus rhythm maintenance was 79.4% (95% confidence interval [CI], 72.4-85.7] and 70.7% (95% CI, 62.2-78.7) with and without antiarrhythmic drugs, respectively at 19 ± 25 (range, 6-128) months. The use of the bipolar AtriCure Synergy system and left atrial appendage exclusion conferred superior rhythm outcome without antiarrhythmic drugs (P ≤ .01). The overall complication rate was 6.5% (95% CI, 3.4-10.2): mortality 0.2% (95% CI, 0-0.9); stroke 0.3% (95% CI, 0-1.1); reoperation for bleeding 1.6% (95% CI, 0.6-3.0); permanent pacing ~0% (95% CI, 0-0.5); conversion to sternotomy 0.3% (95% CI, 0-1.1); atrioesophageal fistula ~0% (95% CI, 0-0.5); and phrenic nerve injury 0.3% (95% CI, 0-1.1). Conclusions: Hybrid ablation therapy for AF demonstrates favorable rhythm outcome with acceptable complication rates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-154
Number of pages14
JournalJTCVS Open
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • atrial fibrillation
  • catheter ablation
  • hybrid ablation
  • radiofrequency
  • surgical ablation


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