Electrophysiological effect of the maze procedure on canine sinoatrial node function

D. E. McLoughlin, A. Blitz, J. Simmons, R. Brodman, R. Frame, S. Bator, J. Adams, D. S. Schwartz, S. Furman, J. D. Fisher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The maze procedure is an operation that has had great initial success in curing atrial fibrillation. This procedure includes several right atrial incisions that may interrupt the integrity of the sinoatrial node or its arterial supply. To assess the effect of the maze procedure on sinus node function (SNF), the following studies were performed: sinus node recovery times (SNRT), corrected SNRT (CSNRT), CSNRT under autonomic blockade maximal heart rate and intrinsic heart rates. Thirty-four dogs underwent a right thoracotomy with cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB). The dogs were divided into three groups. Group 1 (n = 9), the sham group, underwent CPB without any incisions. Group 2 (n = 8) underwent CPB and one of the right atrial incisions. Group 3 (n = 18) underwent CPB and all three of the right atrial incisions. SNF was determined before and after the procedure. Groups 1 and 2 had no significant difference in measured SNF acutely after the procedure. In Group 3 the mean SNRT increased from 552 msec to 1,984 msec (P = 0.005). Sinus node dysfunction was corroborated by all studies. In the chronic studies, a trend toward recovery of SNF was observed. The maze procedure results in significant acute sinus node dysfunction. This dysfunction may resolve spontaneously over the ensuing months. Modifications of the maze procedure that avoid the sinus node or its blood supply area may reduce procedure related sinus node dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2084-2091
Number of pages8
JournalPACE - Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology
Issue number11 II
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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