Background: Postoperative atrial fibrillation (POAF) remains common after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). Limited efforts to intervene on cardiac autonomic ganglionic plexi (AGP) during surgery show mixed results. In this pilot study, we evaluated the safety and feasibility of map-guided ablation of AGPs during isolated CABG in the prevention of POAF. Methods: In this pilot study, patients undergoing isolated CABG were randomized into an intervention group (mapping and ablation of AGP [AGP+] group), and a control group (no mapping and ablation [AGP-] group). Using high-frequency stimulation, active AGPs were identified and ablated intraoperatively using radiofrequency. Continuous rhythm monitoring, serum electrolytes, postoperative medications, and postoperative complications were recorded until discharge. Results: Randomization of 47 patients (24 AGP+ and 23 AGP-) resulted in similar baseline characteristics, past medical history, and preoperative medication use. The intervention added a median of 14 minutes to the operative time. The incidence of POAF, mean time inPOAF, and median length of stay in hospital were: AGP+ 21% vs AGP- 30%; AGP+ 298 minutes vs AGP- 514 minutes; AGP+ 5 days vs AGP- 6 days; respectively). Postoperative complications, medication use, and daily serum electrolyte profiles were similar in both groups. Conclusions: This pilot study demonstrated the safety and feasibility of mapping and ablation of AGP during CABG with minimal added operative time. Results further suggest a potentially clinically significant effect on POAF. A multicentre trial is warranted.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine