The ABLATE trial: Safety and efficacy of cox Maze-IV using a bipolar radiofrequency ablation system

Jonathan M. Philpott, Christian W. Zemlin*, James Lewis Cox, MacK Stirling, Michael Mack, Robert L. Hooker, Allen Morris, David A. Heimansohn, James Longoria, Divyakant B. Gandhi, Patrick M McCarthy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Background The Cox Maze-IV procedure (CMP-IV) has replaced the Cox Maze-III procedure as the most common approach for the surgical treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF). The Food and Drug Administration-regulated AtriCure Bipolar Radiofrequency Ablation of Permanent Atrial Fibrillation (ABLATE) trial sought to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of the CMP-IV performed with the Synergy ablation system (AtriCure, Inc, Cincinnati, OH). Methods Fifty-five patients (aged 70.5 ± 9.3 years), 92.7% of whom had nonparoxysmal AF, underwent CMP-IV to terminate AF during a concomitant cardiac surgical procedure. Lesions were created using the AtriCure Synergy bipolar radiofrequency ablation system. All patients were seen for follow-up visits after 30 days, 3 months, and 6 months, with 24-hour Holter monitoring at 6 months. Late evaluation was performed by 48-hour Holter monitoring at an average of 21 months. Results The primary efficacy endpoint, absence of AF (30 seconds or less) at 6-month follow-up off antiarrhythmic medications (Heart Rhythm Society definition), indicated 76% (38 of 50) were AF free (95% confidence interval: 62.6% to 85.7%). The primary safety endpoint, the rate of major adverse events within 30 days, was 9.1% (5 of 55; 95% confidence interval: 3.9% to 19.6%), with 3.6% mortality (2 of 55). Secondary efficacy endpoints included being AF free with antiarrhythmic drugs (6 months, 84%; 21 months, 75%), successful pulmonary vein isolation (100%), and AF burden at 6 and 21 months. The results, together with those for the secondary safety endpoint (6-month major adverse events), demonstrated that the Synergy system performs comparably to the cut-and-sew Cox Maze-III procedure. Conclusions The CMP-IV using the AtriCure Synergy system was safe and effective for cardiac surgical patients who had persistent and longstanding persistent AF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1541-1548
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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