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Incidence of atrial fibrillation after cardiac surgery and its pharmacological management

1 Department of Pharmacy Practice, NGSM Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Nitte (Deemed to be University), Mangalore, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, K.S. Hegde Medical Academy, Nitte (Deemed to be University), Mangalore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Uday Venkat Mateti,
Head, Department of Pharmacy Practice, NGSM Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Nitte (Deemed to be University), Paneer, Deralakatte, Mangalore - 575 018, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ami.ami_88_17

Aim: Postoperative atrial fibrillation (POAF) is one of the most commonly occurring complications after cardiac surgery. The study aims to determine the incidence of POAF and to analyze its pharmacological management in patients scheduled for cardiac surgery. Methodology: A prospective observational study was carried out for 6 months (October 2016 to March 2017) in cardiothoracic surgery. Drug therapy details by medication chart review and clinical review in patients who underwent coronary artery bypass graft, mitral valve replacement (MVR), and aortic valve replacement was carried out and analyzed for the incidence of POAF. The statistical analysis was performed using SPSS. Results: A total of 83 patients were recruited for this study. The POAF incidence was 18.07% with the highest incidence on the 2nd postoperative day. The mean age of patients with POAF was 49.40 ± 12.77 years. Rheumatic heart disease and alcohol were identified as the predisposing factors of POAF. The incidence of POAF was the highest following MVR (80%) than other cardiac surgeries. Patients who developed POAF had a longer length of hospitalization (median 9 vs. 7 days). Amiodarone, metoprolol, verapamil, atorvastatin, clopidogrel, and aspirin were the most frequently prescribed drugs for the management of POAF. Administration of metoprolol, nebivolol, atorvastatin, bisoprolol, metoprolol + atorvastatin + aspirin, and other combinations before cardiac surgery reduced the risk of developing POAF. Conclusion: The overall incidence of POAF was 18.07%. Amiodarone (13.3%), metoprolol (40%), verapamil (66.7%), aspirin (26.7%), clopidogrel (13.3%), and atorvastatin (20%) were found to be safe and effective in the treatment of POAF patients.

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