Publication Date



atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, catheter ablation, hybrid, surgical ablation, mitral isthmus, recurrence


Purpose: It is It is widely accepted that atrial fibrillation (AF) accounts for half of arrhythmia recurrences following endocardial catheter ablation of AF. An epicardial-endocardial approach (hybrid) has emerged as an alternative to endocardial ablation alone for the treatment of AF, yet recurrence after a hybrid procedure has not been well characterized. This retrospective study is aimed at characterizing recurrence following hybrid ablation for patients with persistent AF.

Methods: Patients with persistent AF (N = 108) received both endocardial and epicardial ablation of the posterior left atrial wall using catheter ablation and a small midline surgical approach (hybrid). Presence of atrial flutter or AF was determined with ambulatory monitoring (n = 22) or electrocardiogram analysis (n = 86) at each follow-up visit. Recurrence mode was confirmed by electrophysiology study for those patients undergoing subsequent catheter ablation after hybrid ablation.

Results: Patients were followed for a mean ± standard deviation of 25 ± 14 months. Of patients who had a recurrence, 53% (n = 33) were in atrial flutter and 47% (n = 29) were in AF. Of those who had a recurrence with atrial flutter, 14 received repeat ablation for either left (n = 11) or left/right (n = 3) atrial flutter and 3 received AF ablation. Half of ablations for atrial flutter recurrence following the hybrid procedure involved the mitral isthmus.

Conclusions: Atrial flutter accounts for about half of arrhythmia recurrences post-hybrid ablation. If catheter ablation of the mitral isthmus is considered during the hybrid procedure to prevent subsequent occurrence of perimitral flutter, bidirectional block must be performed to ensure a complete line of block.




January 7th, 2020


April 8th, 2020


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