A comprehensive evidence review was conducted of the medical literature regarding the relationship between intraoperative interventions and the incidence of postoperative atrial arrhythmias, including, most commonly, atrial fibrillation (AF). Fifteen randomized, controlled Studies and one large-scale concurrent cohort study were identified that reported on the following issues: systemic temperature during surgery (one report); "beating heart" surgery vs conventional bypass surgery (three reports); type of myocardial protection (five reports); the use of adjunctive posterior pericardiotomy (one report); the use of thoracic epidural anesthesia (TEA) [two reports]; the use of glucose-insulin-potassium (GIK) solutions (two reports); and the use of heparin-coated circuits for cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) [two reports]. Based on a systematic review of the reported data and an analysis of the quality of the reported data, we recommend the following: (1) that mild hypothermia, rather than moderate hypothermia, may be effective in reducing the frequency of postoperative AF; (2) the use of posterior pericardiotomy may be a useful adjunct to reduce the frequency of postoperative AF; and (3) the use of heparin-coated CPB circuits is associated with less postoperative AF. Because of conflicting or inadequate data, we cannot conclude that the frequency of postoperative AF is affected by (1) the use of beating-heart techniques, (2) the type of myocardial protection strategy used, (3) the use of TEA, or (4) the use of GIK solutions perioperatively.
- Atrial fibrillation
- Heart surgery
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine