Long-term effectiveness of surgical treatment of ectopic atrial tachycardia

Nelson A. Prager, James L. Cox, Bruce D. Lindsay, T. Bruce Ferguson, Judy L. Osborn, Michael E. Cain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Objectives. The purpose of this study was to determine the long-term clinical outcome of patients with ectopic atrial tachycardias treated surgically. Background. Ectopic atriai tachycardia is an uncommon arrhythmia that can be symptomatic and is associated with the development of a cardiomyopathy. Management strategies are not well defined because of the paucity of data on the long-term effectiveness of pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic therapies. Methods. The long-term clinical impact of medical and surgical therapy was determined in 15 consecutive patients with ectopic atrial tachycardia. All 15 patients were initially treated with antiarrhythmic drugs (mean 5.7 ± 2.2 drugs/patient). An effective drug regimen was identified in only 5 (33%) of the 15 patients; the remaining 10 patients were treated surgically. In each, individualized surgical procedures were guided by computer-assisted intraoperative mapping, with atrial plaques comprising up to 156 electrodes. Focal ablation was performed in four patients and artial isolation procedures in six. Results. The 10 patients treated surgically were followed up a mean of 4 ± 3.2 years. Ectopic atrial tachycardia recurred in one patients, A permanent pacemaker was implanted in two patients, one of whom also required reoperation for constrictive pericarditis. There were no operative deatlis. Ectopic atrial tachycardia recurred in three (60%) of the five patients discharged on antiarrhythmic drug therapy during a mean follow-up interval of 6.4 ± 4.3 years. There was one nonarrhythmic death. Conclusions. Map-guided surgery demonstrated long-term efficacy in abolishing symptoms in 9 of the 10 patients with ectopic atrial tachycardia. Results demonstrate surgery is effective for patients with ectopic atrial tachycardias who are not easily treated with antiarrhythmic drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-92
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1993


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