The American journal of medicine 2018 02 21() pii S0002-9343(18)30109-8
Although post-operative atrial fibrillation is common after non-cardiac surgery, there is a paucity of data regarding prophylaxis. We sought to determine if pharmacologic prophylaxis reduces the incidence of post-operative atrial fibrillation after non-cardiac surgery.
We performed an electronic search of Ovid MEDLINE, the Cochrane central register of controlled trials database, and SCOPUS from inception to 9/7/2016 and included prospective randomized studies in which patients in sinus rhythm underwent non-cardiac surgery and examined the incidence of post-operative atrial fibrillation as well as secondary safety outcomes.
21 studies including 11,608 patients were included. Types of surgery included vascular surgery (3,465 patients), thoracic surgery (2,757 patients), general surgery (2,292 patients), orthopedic surgery (1,756 patients), and other surgery (1,338 patients). Beta-blockers (RR 0.32; 95% CI 0.11 to 0.87), amiodarone (RR 0.42; 95% CI 0.26 to 0.67), and statins (RR 0.43; 95% CI 0.27 to 0.68) reduced post-operative atrial fibrillation compared to placebo or active controls. Calcium channel blockers (RR 0.55; 95% CI 0.30 to 1.01), digoxin (RR 1.62; 95% CI 0.95 to 2.76), and magnesium (RR 0.73; 95% CI 0.23 to 2.33) had no statistically significant effect on post-operative atrial fibrillation incidence. The incidence of adverse events was comparable across agents, except for increased mortality (RR 1.33; 95% CI 1.03 to 1.37) and bradycardia (RR 2.74; 95% CI 2.19 to 3.43) in patients receiving beta-blockers.
Pharmacologic prophylaxis with amiodarone, beta-blockers, or statins reduces the incidence of postoperative atrial fibrillation after non-cardiac surgery. Amiodarone and statins have a relatively low overall-risk of short-term adverse events.