Recent evidence suggests transient postoperative atrial fibrillation (POAF) leads to future cardiovascular events, however, researchers from the Loyola University Medical Center found that POAF increases the risk of heart attack or stroke within the first postoperative year.
“Physicians should be vigilant in assessing postoperative atrial fibrillation, even when transient, and establish appropriate follow-up, given the increased risk of cardiovascular morbidity,” first author Robert Blackwell, MD, senior author Gopal Gupta, MD, and colleagues said in a recent news release.
Atrial fibrillation (A-fib) is an irregular heartbeat that can cause poor blood flow to the body and results from previous studies have shown that postoperative atrial fibrillation following radical cystectomy can occur in 2-8% of cases.
The new study, entitled “New Onset Postoperative Atrial Fibrillation Predicts Long-Term Cardiovascular Events Following Radical Cystectomy,” examined the relationship between post-operative A-fib on long-term strokes and heart attacks following abdominal surgery. Identification of patients who underwent radical cystectomies between 2007 and 2010 was sought from Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project State Inpatient Databases for California and Florida.
Specifically, the study revealed that 210 (4.8%) patients among 4,345 subjects who underwent radical cystectomy developed postoperative atrial fibrillation. There was a higher cumulative incidence of cardiovascular events over the first postoperative year in patients who developed postoperative atrial fibrillation (24.8% vs 10.9%). Statistical analysis also demonstrated an increased risk of cardiovascular events in postoperative atrial fibrillation patients.
“We’re now able to ask and answer a broad range of questions that could significantly help improve patient care and reduce costs,” said in the news release Paul Kuo, MD, who heads Loyola’s analytics group, One to Map Analytics. (One-to-map is a common computer command in analytics research.) Dr. Kuo is chair of the Department of Surgery of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.
Glossary of Terms:
[wikibox lang=”en”]Atrial fibrillation[/wikibox]