Introduction: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained cardiac arrhythmia, and results in significant morbidity and mortality. The Cox-Maze IV procedure (CMP-IV) has been shown to have excellent efficacy in returning patients to sinus rhythm, but there have been few reports of late follow-up in sizable cohorts of patients with longstanding persistent AF, the most difficult type of AF to treat. Methods and Results: Between May 2003 and March 2020, 174 consecutive patients underwent a stand-alone CMP-IV for longstanding persistent AF. Rhythm outcome was assessed postoperatively for up to 10 years, primarily via prolonged monitoring (Holter monitor, pacemaker interrogation, or implantable loop recorder). Fine-Gray regression was used to investigate factors associated with atrial tachyarrhythmia (ATA) recurrence, with death as a competing risk. Median duration of preoperative AF was 7.8 years (interquartile range: 4.0–12.0 years), with 71% (124/174) having failed at least one prior catheter-based ablation. There were no 30-day mortalities. Freedom from ATAs was 94% (120/128), 83% (53/64), and 88% (35/40) at 1, 5, and 7 years, respectively. On regression analysis, preoperative AF duration and early postoperative ATAs were associated with late ATAs recurrence. Conclusion: Despite the majority of patients having a long-duration of preoperative AF and having failed at least one catheter-based ablation, the stand-alone CMP-IV had excellent late efficacy in patients with longstanding persistent AF, with low morbidity and no mortality. We recommend consideration of stand-alone CMP-IV for patients with longstanding persistent AF who have failed or are poor candidates for catheter ablation.
- Cox-Maze IV
- atrial fibrillation
- late outcomes
- longstanding persistent atrial fibrillation
- surgical ablation