Atrial Fibrillation After Cardiac Surgery: Incidence, Risk Factors, and Economic Burden

Carlo Rostagno*, Mark La Meir, Sandro Gelsomino, Lorenzo Ghilli, Alessandra Rossi, Enrico Carone, Lucio Braconi, Gabriele Rosso, Francesco Puggelli, Alessio Mattesini, Pier Luigi Stefano, Luigi Padeletti, Jos Maessen, Gian Franco Gensini

*Corresponding author for this work

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Objective: To evaluate the incidence of postoperative atrial fibrillation (POAF), the predisposing factors, the results of treatment before discharge, and the impact on duration and costs of hospitalization. Design: A prospective observational study. Methods: Patients who underwent cardiac surgery from January 1, 2007 to December 31, 2007. Interventions: Electrocardiography was continuously monitored after surgery. Patients with symptomatic new-onset atrial fibrillation or lasting >15 minutes were treated with amiodarone and with DC shock in prolonged cases. Results: POAF occurred in 29.7%, with the higher incidence between the 1st and 4th postoperative day. Age (p <0.001), atrial size >40 mm (p <0.001), previous episodes of AF (p <0.001), female sex (p = 0.010), and combined valve and bypass surgery (p = 0.012) were multivariate predictors of POAF at logistic regression. Sinus rhythm was restored by early treatment in 205 of 215 patients. This was associated with a low incidence of cerebrovascular events (
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)952-958
JournalJournal of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010


  • atrial fibrillation
  • perioperative complications
  • cardiac surgery
  • amiodarone

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