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Semin Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2000 Jan;12(1):56-62.

Stroke prevention as an indication for the Maze procedure in the treatment of atrial fibrillation.

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  • 1Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC 20007, USA.


The Maze procedure has proven to be extremely effective in curing medically refractory atrial fibrillation. This analysis of our surgical results with the Maze procedure indicates that the Maze procedure, with or without associated cardiac surgery, has the lowest perioperative stroke rate of any major cardiac surgical procedure. This is surprising in view of the fact that all of the patients who undergo the Maze procedure have an elevated risk of stroke because of the presence of atrial fibrillation. In addition, many of the patients have already had strokes, further increasing the likelihood of perioperative stroke. Only 1 patient has had a stroke in the 12-year follow-up period following the Maze procedure. This is comparable to the risk of stroke in the general population and indicates that the Maze procedure essentially abolishes the risk of stroke associated with atrial fibrillation.

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