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      The impact of post-operative atrial fibrillation on outcomes in coronary artery bypass graft and combined procedures

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          Post-operative atrial fibrillation (POAF) is a common yet understudied clinical issue after coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) leading to higher mortality rates and stroke. This systematic review and meta-analysis evaluated the rates of adverse outcomes between patients with and without POAF in patients treated with CABG or combined procedures.


          The search period was from the beginning of PubMed and Embase to May 18 th, 2020 with no language restrictions. The inclusion criteria were: (1) studies comparing new onset atrial fibrillation before or after revascularization vs. no new onset AF before or after revascularization. The outcomes assessed included all-cause mortality, cardiac death, cerebral vascular accident (CVA), myocardial infarction (MI), repeated revascularization, major adverse cardiac event (MACE), and major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular events (MACCEs).


          Of the 7,279 entries screened, 11 studies comprising of 57,384 patients were included. Compared to non-POAF, POAF was significantly associated with higher risk of all-cause mortality (Risk Ratio (RR) = 1.58; 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 1.42−1.76, P < 0.00001) with accompanying high level of heterogeneity ( I 2 = 62%).


          Patients with POAF after CABG or combined procedures are at an increased risk of all-cause mortality or CVAs. Therefore, POAF after such procedures should be closely monitored and treated judiciously to minimize risk of further complications. While there are studies on POAF versus no POAF on outcomes, the heterogeneity suggests that further studies are needed.

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          Most cited references 37

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          Inflammation of atrium after cardiac surgery is associated with inhomogeneity of atrial conduction and atrial fibrillation.

          Atrial fibrillation (AF) is common after cardiac surgery. Abnormal conduction is an important substrate for AF. We hypothesized that atrial inflammation alters atrial conduction properties. Normal mongrel canines (n=24) were divided into 4 groups consisting of anesthesia alone (control group); pericardiotomy (pericardiotomy group); lateral right atriotomy (atriotomy group); and lateral right atriotomy with antiinflammatory therapy (methylprednisolone 2 mg/kg per day) (antiinflammatory group). Right atrial activation was examined 3 days after surgery. Inhomogeneity of conduction was quantified by the variation of maximum local activation phase difference. To initiate AF, burst pacing was performed. Myeloperoxidase activity and neutrophil cell infiltration in the atrial myocardium were measured to quantify the degree of inflammation. The inhomogeneity of atrial conduction of the atriotomy and pericardiotomy groups was higher than that of the control group (2.02+/-0.10, 1.51+/-0.03 versus 0.96+/-0.08, respectively; P<0.005). Antiinflammatory therapy decreased the inhomogeneity of atrial conduction after atriotomy (1.16+/-0.10; P<0.001). AF duration was longer in the atriotomy and pericardiotomy groups than in the control and antiinflammatory groups (P=0.012). There also were significant differences in myeloperoxidase activity between the atriotomy and pericardiotomy groups and the control group (0.72+/-0.09, 0.41+/-0.08 versus 0.18+/-0.03 DeltaOD/min per milligram protein, respectively; P<0.001). Myeloperoxidase activity of the antiinflammatory group was lower than that of the atriotomy group (0.17+/-0.02; P<0.001). Inhomogeneity of conduction correlated with myeloperoxidase activity (r=0.851, P<0.001). The degree of atrial inflammation was associated with a proportional increase in the inhomogeneity of atrial conduction and AF duration. This may be a factor in the pathogenesis of early postoperative AF. Antiinflammatory therapy has the potential to decrease the incidence of AF after cardiac surgery.
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            Inflammation, oxidative stress and postoperative atrial fibrillation in cardiac surgery.

             M Zakkar,  R Ascione,  A James (2015)
            Postoperative atrial fibrillation (POAF) is a common complication of cardiac surgery that occurs in up to 60% of patients. POAF is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular mortality, stroke and other arrhythmias that can impact on early and long term clinical outcomes and health economics. Many factors such as disease-induced cardiac remodelling, operative trauma, changes in atrial pressure and chemical stimulation and reflex sympathetic/parasympathetic activation have been implicated in the development of POAF. There is mounting evidence to support a major role for inflammation and oxidative stress in the pathogenesis of POAF. Both are consequences of using cardiopulmonary bypass and reperfusion following ischaemic cardioplegic arrest. Subsequently, several anti-inflammatory and antioxidant drugs have been tested in an attempt to reduce the incidence of POAF. However, prevention remains suboptimal and thus far none of the tested drugs has provided sufficient efficacy to be widely introduced in clinical practice. A better understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for the onset and persistence of POAF is needed to develop more effective prediction and interventions.
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              Usefulness of postoperative atrial fibrillation as an independent predictor for worse early and late outcomes after isolated coronary artery bypass grafting (multicenter Australian study of 19,497 patients).

              Several studies have shown that postoperative atrial fibrillation (POAF) is associated with poorer short- and long-term outcomes after isolated coronary artery bypass grafting surgery. Nevertheless, there is considerable debate as to whether this reflects an independent association of POAF with poorer outcomes or confounding by other factors. We sought to investigate this issue. Data obtained from June 2001 through December 2009 by the Australasian Society of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgeons National Cardiac Surgery Database Program were retrospectively analyzed. Demographic and operative data were compared between patients who developed POAF and those who did not using chi-square and t tests. The independent impact of POAF on 14 short-term complications and long-term mortality was determined using binary logistic and Cox regression, respectively. Excluding patients with preoperative arrhythmia, isolated coronary artery bypass grafting surgery was performed in 19,497 patients. Of these, 5,547 (28.5%) developed POAF. Patients with POAF were generally older (mean age 69 vs 65 years, p <0.001) and presented more often with co-morbidities including congestive heart failure (p <0.001), hypertension (p <0.001), cerebrovascular disease (p <0.001), and renal failure (p = 0.046). Patients with POAF demonstrated a greater 30-day mortality on univariate analysis but not on multivariate analysis (p = 0.376). Patients with POAF were, however, at an independently increased risk of perioperative complications including permanent stroke (p <0.001), new renal failure (p <0.001), infective complications (p <0.001), gastrointestinal complications (p <0.001), and return to the theater (p <0.001). POAF was also independently associated with shorter long-term survival (p = 0.002). In conclusion, POAF is a risk factor for short-term morbidity and decreased long-term survival. Rigorous evaluation of various therapies that prevent or decrease the impact of POAF is imperative. Moreover, patients who develop POAF should undergo strict surveillance and be routinely screened for complications after discharge. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

                Author and article information

                J Geriatr Cardiol
                J Geriatr Cardiol
                Journal of Geriatric Cardiology : JGC
                Science Press (Beijing, China )
                28 May 2021
                : 18
                : 5
                : 319-326
                [1 ] Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of British Columbia, British Columbia, Canada
                [2 ] Department of Medicine and Geriatrics, Princess Margaret Hospital, Hong Kong, China
                [3 ] Department of Cardiology, Fuwai Hospital Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences Shenzhen, Shenzhen, China
                [4 ] Institute of Biomedicine and Biotechnology, Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenzhen, China
                [5 ] Xiamen Cardiovascular Hospital, Xiamen University, Xiamen, China
                [6 ] Tianjin Key Laboratory of Ionic-Molecular Function of Cardiovascular Disease, Department of Cardiology, Tianjin Institute of Cardiology, The Second Hospital of Tianjin Medical University, Tianjin, China
                [7 ] Department of Cardiology, Guangdong Cardiovascular Institute, Guangdong Provincial People's Hospital, Guangdong Academy of Medical Sciences, Guangzhou, China
                [8 ] Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Surrey, GU2 7AL, Guildford, United Kingdom
                [9 ] Cardiovascular Analytics Group, Laboratory of Cardiovascular Physiology, Hong Kong, China
                [10 ] Arrowe Park Acute Stroke Unit, Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Wirral, UK
                Author notes
                Copyright and License information: Journal of Geriatric Cardiology 2021

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/

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                Cardiovascular Medicine


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