Background. There have been sporadic cases of persistent atrial fibrillation and sick sinus syndrome after the maze procedure. The purpose of this study was to identify the predictors of sinus rhythm restoration after operation. Methods. Between March 1993 and June 1995, we evaluated retrospectively 96 consecutive patients who underwent the maze procedure (maze III) in combination with another type of cardiac operation. Four patients who died and 6 patients who required permanent pacemaker implantation because of sick sinus syndrome were excluded. Ambulatory electrocardiographic monitoring was evaluated 1 year after operation. Multiple logistic regression analysis was applied to identify the predictors of sinus rhythm restoration. Results. The final population comprised 86 patients (mean age, 59.8 years; 67 patients with mitral valve disease). Overall, sinus rhythm was restored in 68 of 86 patients (79.1%). The magnitude of the atrial fibrillatory wave positively predicted postoperative sinus rhythm restoration. Conversely, left atrial diameter was inversely related to postoperative sinus rhythm restoration. The odds ratio of having both a fine atrial fibrillatory wave (<1.0 mm) and enlarged left atrial diameter (≤65 mm) for patients with sinus rhythm restoration was 0.04 (95% confidence interval, 0.01 to 0.28). Conclusions. Atrial fibrillatory wave and left atrial diameter were independent predictors of sinus rhythm restoration after the maze procedure in patients with chronic atrial fibrillation and organic heart disease.
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