Intraoperative Left Atrial Ablation (for Atrial Fibrillation) Using a New Argon Cryocatheter: Early Clinical Experience

Nicolas Doll, Bob B. Kiaii, Alexander M. Fabricius, Jan Bucerius, Patrick Kornherr, Ralf Krakor, Jan F. Gummert, Thomas Walther, Friedrich W. Mohr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Purpose. Recently surgical treatment of atrial fibrillation has gained more popularity and presently is being performed in large numbers of patients. This report describes our early experience in treatment of patients with chronic or paroxysmal atrial fibrillation with a new tool for left atrial cryoablation. Description. From July 2002 through January 2003, 28 patients underwent left atrial cryoablation with the Surgifrost CryoCath. Patients underwent cryotherapy as an isolated procedure (n = 1), in combination with mitral valve surgery (n = 13), or with other surgical procedures (n = 14). In all patients contiguous lesion lines to the orifices of the pulmonary veins connected to the mitral annulus and the atriotomy were created. Surgery was performed through a conventional sternotomy in 8 patients (29%) and a right lateral minithoracotomy using video-assistance in 20 patients (71%). Evaluation. Postoperatively sinus rhythm was restored in 27 patients (96%). At discharge 82% (23/28) of patients were in sinus rhythm and 18% (5/28) were in atrial fibrillation. Four patients (14%) required pacemaker implantation. There was no in-hospital mortality. At 6-months follow-up (19/28 patients) all were alive and 74% were in stable sinus rhythm, New York Heart Association functional class was 1.2 ± 0.4. Conclusions. As indicated by our small and early patient cohort left atrial cryoablation with the Surgifrost argon cryocatheter is effective for the treatment of atrial fibrillation. This new device is technically easy to handle, it can be applied through a median sternotomy or lateral minithoracotomy. Long-term follow-up is necessary to evaluate further rhythm outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1711-1715
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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