Research objective: Assessment of sinoatrial node function after Maze III procedure combined with a mitral valve operation.
Methods: 100 patients were included in the research with persistent and long-standing persistent forms of atrial fibrillation (AF) and need of operative treatment concerning valve disease.
The following preoperative preparation methods were executed to all patients: 1. Electrocardiogram in 12 standard assignments; 2. Two-dimensional echocardiographic with assessment of systolic and diastolic functions of the left ventricle, size of the left atrium and grade of valve disease; 3. Transesophageal echocardiography for exclusion of blood clots in the left atrium and left atrial appendage; 4. Coronary angiography for exclusion of coronary heart disease; 5. Computer tomography for examination of cardiac chambers and anatomic characteristics of pulmonary veins.
Electric cardioversion in X-ray operating room conditions was performed on all patients. After successful restoration of sinus rhythm, electrophysiological examination (EP) of heart was carried out. Then, on the first or second day after EP study, Maze III procedure combined with a mitral valve operation was performed.
Results: Following the results of Maze III procedure combined with correction of valve disease, disposal of AF was observed in 95% of patients. 46% of patients had stable sinus rhythm to the moment of discharge from the hospital. 24% of patients had atrial rhythm with the maximum heart rate of 80-110 bpm (according to results of 24-hour Holter monitoring). For 25% of patients, it was necessary to implant a pacemaker. According to results of EP study, 13% of these patients suffered from sick sinus syndrome before operation. For 9% of the remaining 12% of patients, the indications for pacemaker implantation were atrioventricular nodal rhythm with low heart rate and pauses more than 3 sec long. For 1% of patients the indication was second degree AV block (type 2) and second degree SA block (type 2); for 1% the indication was complete heart block, and for 1% it was atrial rhythm and pauses more than 3 sec long.
13% of patients with an atrial rhythm and normal heart rate developed typical atrial flutter (AFL) in the early postoperative period. For all of them the RF catheter ablation with linear ablation of the right atrial isthmus and creation of isthmus block was effective, and further recurrence of AFL was not observed.
Conclusions: In the early postoperative period Maze III procedure combined with a mitral valve operation proved to be an effective surgical technique of treatment of persistent and long-standing persistent forms of AF. Only 12% of patients had dysfunction of sinus node work due to iatrogenesis.