Biatrial or Left Atrial Lesion Set for Ablation During Mitral Surgery: Risks and Benefits

Andrei Churyla, Adam Iddriss, Adin Christian Andrei, Jane Kruse, S. Chris Malaisrie, Rod Passman, Zhi Li, Richard Lee, Patrick M. McCarthy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Background Controversy exists when performing surgical atrial fibrillation ablation whether there is an increase in postoperative complications using biatrial (BA) lesions compared with only left atrial (LA) lesions, and some studies indicate similar efficacy. This study compares the clinical outcomes of BA and LA ablation lesions in mitral valve surgery patients. Methods From 2004 through 2014, 2,137 patients had mitral valve surgery with or without other surgeries in a single center. Of those, 836 (39%) had preoperative atrial fibrillation, and of those, 724 (86%) underwent atrial fibrillation ablation surgery; 257 patients had BA lesion sets and 359 had LA lesion sets. Propensity score matching of BA and LA patients was performed. Results Baseline differences included more postoperative complications in the BA group, specifically, permanent pacemaker placement (13% versus 7%; p = 0.006). Freedom from atrial fibrillation off antiarrhythmic drugs (72% BA versus 75% LA; p = 0.50), postoperative ablation (7% BA versus 5% LA; p = 0.20), stroke (0.11 versus 0.11 per 10 person-years; p = 0.91), and survival were similar between the groups. After matching, patients in the LA group had a higher freedom from postoperative ablation (p = 0.015), but no difference in freedom from atrial fibrillation off antiarrhythmic drugs (79% BA versus 69% LA; p = 0.09), and no difference in permanent pacemaker placement (10% versus 12%; p = 0.57). Conclusions Patients undergoing mitral surgery with LA or BA ablation had similar outcomes, survival, and complications. Limiting lesions to the LA is an effective alternative to BA ablation for patients undergoing ablation with concomitant mitral valve surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1858-1865
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'Biatrial or Left Atrial Lesion Set for Ablation During Mitral Surgery: Risks and Benefits'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this