Surgical Division of Wolff-Parkinson-White Pathways Utilizing the Closed-Heart Technique: A 2-Year Experience in 47 Patients

Yousuf Mahomed, Robert D. King, Douglas P. Zipes, William M. Miles, Eric N. Prystowsky, James J. Heger, John W. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations


Kent bundle interruption for ventricular preexcitation has been successfully accomplished utilizing several different surgical techniques. The external closed-heart technique of Guiraudon combining surgical dissection and cryoablation has been used to interrupt 52 accessory pathways in 47 consecutive patients since May, 1985. The 35 male and 12 female patients ranged in age from 10 to 67 years (mean, 30 years). There were 25 left free wall, 13 right free wall, 13 posterior septal, and 1 anterior septal accessory pathways. Preoperative and intraoperative electrophysiological studies were performed in all patients to induce the arrhythmia and localize all accessory pathways. The operation consisted of dissection of the atrioventricular fat pad. Following this, the delta wave and retrograde accessory pathway conduction disappeared, thereby indicating successful pathway ablation. In 4 patients with right-sided accessory pathways, interruption of the pathway required cryoablation. Cryolesions (made with cryoprobe at -60°C for two minutes) were created in the region of the accessory pathway insertion. All accessory pathways were successfully ablated without any deaths or heart block. Concomitant surgical procedures were performed in 4 patients. Two patients required a second operation the next day for an accessory pathway not found at the initial operation. Three patients had postpericardiotomy syndrome, and 4 had recurrent atrial fibrillation requiring therapy. The remaining patients have had no arrhythmia recurrence and have remained drug free after a follow-up of 1 month to 22 months (mean, 12.5 months). We conclude that the closed-heart technique of accessory pathway ablation is safe and reproducible, obviates the necessity for aortic cross-lamping and cardioplegic arrest, and allows instantaneous monitoring of conduction over the pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)495-504
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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