Impact of preoperative atrial fibrillation on mortality and cardiovascular outcomes of mechanical mitral valve replacement for rheumatic mitral valve disease.
ABSTRACT OBJECTIVES: The prognostic significance of preoperative atrial fibrillation on mitral valve replacement remains unclear. The aim of this study was to explore the effects of the presence of preoperative atrial fibrillation on mortality and cardiovascular outcomes of mitral valve replacement for rheumatic valve disease. METHODS: A retrospective analysis was performed on a total of 793 patients who underwent mitral valve replacement with or without tricuspid valve repair in our hospital. The patients selected were divided into two groups according to preoperative rhythm status. Patients with preoperative atrial fibrillation were assigned to the AF group, while patients in preoperative sinus rhythm were assigned to the SR group. Postoperative follow-up was performed by outpatient visits, as well as by telephone and written correspondence. Data gathered included survivorship, postoperative complications, left ventricular function and tricuspid regurgitation. RESULTS: For patients with atrial fibrillation vs. those in sinus rhythm, there was no difference in postoperative mortality and morbidity. Follow-up was a mean of 8.6 ± 2.4 years. For patients with preoperative atrial fibrillation, 10-year survival from a Kaplan-Meier curve was 88.7%, compared with 96.6% in patients with preoperative sinus rhythm (P = 0.002). Multivariate analysis identified low left ventricular ejection fraction, older age, large left atrium and preoperative atrial fibrillation as significant adverse predictors for overall survival. Freedom from thromboembolism complications at 13 years was lower for patients with preoperative atrial fibrillation without maze procedure and left atrial appendage ligation, compared with that for patients with preoperative sinus rhythm without maze procedure and left atrial appendage ligation, and patients with concomitant maze procedure and left atrial appendage ligation (76.3 vs. 94.8 vs. 94.0%, respectively; P = 0.001). On echocardiography, the proportion of patients with significant tricuspid regurgitation was 38.7% (atrial fibrillation patients) vs. 25.4% (patients in sinus rhythm; P < 0.001). Left ventricular ejection fraction measured 5 years after surgery increased by an average of 1.2% in the AF group, while it increased by 5.3% in the SR group (P = 0.028). CONCLUSIONS: Preoperative atrial fibrillation is a risk factor for long-term mortality, thromboembolism complications and tricuspid regurgitation, and it also has an adverse effect on the degree of improvement when considering left ventricular function.