Progress in the Surgical Treatment of Cardiac Arrhythmias: Initial Experience of 90 Patients
Between 1981 and 1985, ninety patients were treated surgically for cardiac arrhythmias and have been followed for a mean interval of 21 months (range, one to 49 months). Follow-up is 100% complete. Fifty accessory pathways were divided in 35 patients (25 male and ten female; mean age, 35.2 years; range, 10 to 72 years), with no deaths. Five females, aged 10 to 35 years, were treated for focal atrial tachycardia, three for an atrial focus alone, and two with other arrhythmia procedures; four were cured and one was improved. Two patients (one man and one woman, both aged 33 years) had ablation of the atrioventricular node. Forty-one patients (32 male and nine female; average age, 56.9 years; range, 15 to 74 years) had ablation of ventricular tachycardia. Kent bundle division and focal atrial tachycardia ablation were also performed in two of these patients. More than 80% of patients had coronary disease. Mean preoperative ejection fraction was 33.9% with a range of 14% to 65%. Aneurysmectomy, endocardial resection, cryoablation, and coronary artery bypass were the procedures used. The perioperative mortality rate was 9.8% but there were no deaths in the last 23 patients. Ventricular tachycardia was abolished in all but three survivors in whom medical treatment is now effective. The automatic implantable defibrillator was implanted in 11 patients, with no surgical deaths. These results confirm the feasibility of relieving a variety of serious arrhythmias by surgical intervention.