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Open Access Research article

Bipolar radiofrequency ablation is useful for treating atrial fibrillation combined with heart valve diseases

Lin Chen*, Yingbin Xiao, Ruiyan Ma, Baicheng Chen, Jia Hao, Chuan Qin, Wei Cheng and Renguo Wen

Author Affiliations

Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Xinqiao Hospital, Third Military Medical University, 7F, Second in-Patient Building, 183 Xinqiao St, Shapingba District, Chongqing 400037, P. R. China

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BMC Surgery 2014, 14:32  doi:10.1186/1471-2482-14-32

Published: 22 May 2014



Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common arrhymia, and it results in increased risk of thromboembolism and decreased cardiac function. In patients undergoing cardiac surgery, concomitant radiofrequency ablation to treat AF is effective in restoring sinus rhythm (SR). This study is an observational cohort study aimed to investigate the safety and efficacy of bipolar radiofrequency ablation (BRFA) for treating AF combined with heart valve diseases.


Clinical data were analyzed retrospectively from 324 cases of rheumatic heart disease combined with persistent AF patients who underwent valve replacement concomitant BRFA. The modified left atrial and the simplified right atrial ablation were used for AF treatments. Of the 324 patients, 248 patients underwent mitral valve replacement and 76 patients underwent double valve replacement. Meanwhile, 54 patients underwent concomitant thrombectomy and 97 underwent tricuspid valvuloplasty. And all of them received temporary pacemaker implantation. The 24 hours holter electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring and echocardiography was performed before the operation, on the first day after operation, on discharge day, and at 6 and 12 months after operation.


There were 299 patients with SR on the first day after operation (92.30%), 12 patients with junctional rhythm (3.70%), 11 patients with AF (3.39%), and 2 patients with atrial flutter (0.62%). The temporary pacemaker was used in 213 patients (65.74%) with heart rates less than 70 beat/minute in the ICU. Two patients died early and the mortality rate was 0.62%. Two patients had left ventricular rupture and the occurrence rate was 0.62%. They both recovered. There was no degree III atrioventricular blockage and no permanent pacemaker implantation. Overall survival rate was 99.38% (322 cases) with SR conversion rate of 89.13% (287 cases) at discharge. The SR conversion rate was 87.54% and 87.01% at 6 and 12 months after operation. Sinus bradycardia occurred in 3.42% of patients at 6 months after operation and in 3.03% of patients at 12 months after operation. Echocardiography showed that the left atrial diameter was significantly decreased, and ejection fraction and fractional shortening were significantly improved.


BRFA for treating AF in concomitant valve replacement is safe and with good efficacy.

Radiofrequency ablation; Bipolar; Atrial fibrillation