J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2006;131:1394-1395
© 2006 The American Association for Thoracic Surgery
a Department of Cardiac Surgery, Hospital General Universitario de Alicante, Alicante, Spain
b Department of Human Anatomy, School of Medicine, University of Extremadura, Badajoz, Spain.
Received for publication January 25, 2006; accepted for publication January 30, 2006. * Address for reprints: Aquilino Hurlé, MD, Servicio de Cirugía Cardiaca, Hospital General Universitario de Alicante, C/ Pintor Baeza s/n, 03010 Alicante, Spain. (Email: email@example.com).
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The normal structural disposition of the sinus node (SN) is well documented in the literature. 1 The histologic changes taking place within the atrial wall of patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) have also been described in the past. 2 However, how SN histology might be affected by long-term AF is an issue that, to our knowledge, has not been previously addressed. The purpose of the present study is describing the SN microscopic features of patients with long-term permanent AF, which could be of relevance for the surgical treatment of this arrhythmia.
Sixteen patients (10 female and 6 male patients; mean age, 66 ± 9 years) undergoing operations for rheumatic heart valve disease who were in chronic AF beyond surgical treatment (ongoing AF for more than 10 years, a left atrial transverse diameter greater than 60 mm, as measured by means of transthoracic echocardiography, or both) were included in this study. Informed consent was obtained from all participants, and the study was approved by the
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