Interconnections between Left Atrial Ganglionic Plexi: Insights from Minimally Invasive Maze Procedures and Their Outcomes

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Ganglionic plexi (GPs) have been implicated as triggers of atrial fibrillation (AF) and are known to have functional interconnections. Understanding these connections could result in a more effective ablation. The objective of this study is to assess relationships between right- and left-sided GPs in patients undergoing mini-maze (MM) surgery. We also analyzed the impact of these findings on AF recurrence.


The GPs were accessed thoracoscopically right side first (group 1) or left side first (group 2). GPs were identified by high-frequency stimulation at 20 predetermined sites and ablation of GPs was performed using a selective or an empiric anatomic approach. Ganglionic plexus (GP) activity was then assessed on the contralateral side and ablated.


Sixty-seven patients underwent MM (45 patients in group 1 and 22 in group 2). Fewer patients with active left GPs (LGP) were noted in group 1 (13, 29%) as compared to group 2 (18, 82%). The number of active LGP was also lower (0.6 ± 1.2) in group 1 compared to group 2 (4.7 ± 2.7); P < 0.0001. No significant differences were noted in the frequency of identifiable right GPs (RGP) between groups 1 and 2 (P > 0.05). There were no differences in atrial tachyarrhythmia (AT)/AF recurrence rates between groups 1 and 2 (P = 0.21). However, group 1 patients who underwent selective GP ablation alone had higher recurrence rates (P = 0.016).


Mapping and ablation of RGPs first decreased identifiable LGP activity. With selective GP ablation, patients who underwent RGP ablation first had higher AT/AF recurrence.

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