Interventions for prevention of postoperative AF and its complications after cardiac surgery: a meta-analysis

Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Camperdown, New South Wales, Australia
European Heart Journal (Impact Factor: 15.2). 12/2006; 27(23):2846-57. DOI: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehl272
Source: PubMed


Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common complication after cardiac surgery. We aimed to evaluate, by meta-analysis, all randomized trials testing interventions for preventing AF.
Ninety-four trials of prevention of post-operative AF were identified, by standard search methods, and analysed by standard meta-analysis techniques. All five commonly tested interventions, beta-blockers (BBs), sotalol, amiodarone, magnesium, and atrial pacing, were effective in preventing AF. The odds ratio (OR) for the effect of BB on the incidence of AF was 0.36 (95% CI 0.28-0.47, P<0.001), but after trials confounded by post-operative non-study BB withdrawal were excluded was 0.69 (95% CI 0.54-0.87, P=0.002). Sotalol reduced AF, compared with placebo (OR 0.34, 95% CI 0.26-0.45, P<0.001) and compared with conventional BB (OR 0.42, 95% CI 0.26-0.65, P<0.001). Amiodarone reduced AF (OR 0.48, 95% CI 0.40-0.57, P<0.001). Magnesium (Mg) also had an effect (OR 0.57 95% CI 0.42-0.77) but there was significant heterogeneity (P<0.001), partly explained by concomitant BB. The effect of Mg with BB was less (OR 0.83, 95% CI 0.60-1.16). Pacing reduced AF (OR 0.60, 95% CI 0.47-0.77, P<0.001), despite wide variations in techniques. Only amiodarone and pacing significantly reduced length of stay, average -0.60 days (95% CI -0.92 to -0.29) and -1.3 days (95% CI -2.55 to -0.08), respectively. Collectively, all treatments analysed together reduced stroke (OR 0.63, 95% CI 0.41-0.98). Amiodarone was the only intervention that alone significantly reduced stroke rate (OR 0.54, 95% CI 0.30-0.95).
All five interventions reduced the incidence of AF, though the effect of BBs is less than previously thought. The significant reductions in length of stay and stroke in meta-analysis suggest that there are worthwhile benefits from aggressive prevention. Larger studies to confirm these clinical benefits and evaluate their cost-effectiveness would be worthwhile.

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    • "Given the clinical consequences attributable to POAF, its prevention is of great importance. To date, many pharmacologic approaches have been attempted to prevent POAF, for example, β-blockers, amiodarone, and magnesium [4]. Most reviews reflect a growing consensus in favor of the prophylactic administration of β-blockers for cardiac surgery patients [5]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Postoperative atrial fibrillation (POAF) remains the most common complication after cardiac surgery. Current guidelines recommend β-blockers to prevent POAF. Carvedilol is a non-selective β-adrenergic blocker with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and multiple cationic channel blocking properties. These unique properties of carvedilol have generated interest in its use as a prophylaxis for POAF. To investigate the efficacy of carvedilol in preventing POAF. PubMed from the inception to September 2013 was searched for studies assessing the effect of carvedilol on POAF occurrence. Pooled relative risk (RR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) was calculated using random- or fixed-effect models when appropriate. Six comparative trials (three randomized controlled trials and three nonrandomized controlled trials) including 765 participants met the inclusion criteria. Carvedilol was associated with a significant reduction in POAF (relative risk [RR] 0.49, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.37 to 0.64, p<0.001). Subgroup analyses yielded similar results. In a subgroup analysis, carvedilol appeared to be superior to metoprolol for the prevention of POAF (RR 0.51, 95% CI 0.37 to 0.70, p<0.001). No evidence of heterogeneity was observed. In conclusion, carvedilol may effectively reduce the incidence of POAF in patients undergoing cardiac surgery. It appeared to be superior to metoprolol. A large-scale, well-designed randomized controlled trial is needed to conclusively answer the question regarding the utility of carvedilol in the prevention of POAF.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · PLoS ONE
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    • "Only biatrial pacing showed a significant result with regard to shorter length of stay and risk reduction of POAF (OR 0.44, 95% CI 0.31 to 0.64; P < 0.001; NNT = 7). Other pacing configurations did not show a significant outcome in reducing POAF [45]. "
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    ABSTRACT: With more than a third of patients expected to endure the arrhythmia at any given time point, atrial fibrillation after cardiac surgery becomes a vexing problem in the postoperative care of cardiac surgery patients. The impact on patient care covers a spectrum from the more common clinically insignificant sequelae to debilitating embolic events. Despite this, postoperative atrial fibrillation generally masquerades as being insignificant, or at most as an anticipated inherent risk, merely extending one's hospital stay by a few days. As an independent risk factor for stroke, early and late mortality, and being a multibillion dollar strain on the healthcare system annually, postoperative atrial fibrillation is far more flagrant than a mere inherent risk. It is a serious medical quandary, which is not recognized as such. Though complete prevention is unrealistic, a step-wise treatment strategy that incorporates multiple preventative modalities can significantly reduce the impact of postoperative atrial fibrillation on patient care. The aims of this review are to present a brief overview of the arrhythmia's etiology, risk factors, and preventative strategies to reduce associated morbidities. Newer anticoagulants and the potential role of these drugs on future treatment paradigms are also discussed.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2013
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    • "Thus, the prevention of POAF is of great importance. In recent decades, many pharmacologic interventions have been used to prevent the development of POAF, for example, β-blockers, sotalol, amiodarone, and magnesium [6]. However, all of them have limited effectiveness and are not free of side effects. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Postoperative atrial fibrillation (POAF) is one of the most common complications in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). The goal of this meta-analysis was to evaluate the efficacy of thoracic epidural anesthesia (TEA) in preventing POAF in adult patients undergoing CABG. Methods MEDLINE and EMBASE were searched to identify randomized controlled trails in adult patients undergoing CABG who were randomly assigned to receive general anesthesia plus thoracic epidural anesthesia (GA + TEA) or general anesthesia only (GA). Two authors independently extracted data using a standardized Excel file. The primary outcome measure was the incidence of POAF. We used DerSimonian-Laird random-effects models to compute summary risk ratios with 95% confidence intervals. Results Five studies involving 540 patients met our inclusion criteria. No significant difference in the incidence of POAF was observed between the two groups (risk ratio, 0.61; 95% confidence interval, 0.33 to 1.12; P = 0.11), with significant heterogeneity among the studies (I2 = 73%, P = 0.005). Sensitivity analyses by primary endpoint, methodological quality and surgical technique yielded similar results. Conclusions The limited evidence suggests that TEA shows no beneficial efficacy in preventing POAF in adult patients undergoing CABG. However, the results of this meta-analysis should be interpreted with caution due to significant heterogeneity of the studies included. Thus, the potential infuence of TEA on the incidence of atrial fibrillation following CABG warrants further investigation.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2012 · BMC Cardiovascular Disorders
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