Background: New-onset atrial fibrillation (AF) in non-cardiac postoperative setting is common and is associated with a high risk of in-hospital mortality and morbidity. The long-term risks of stroke, mortality and AF recurrence rate in patients with postoperative AF (POAF) are unclear. Methods: We performed a systematic literature review in electronic databases from inception to March 5th, 2020 of studies reporting the incidence of stroke, mortality and AF recurrence in patients with POAF. We confined our analysis to studies with a cohort of at least 150 patients with POAF and with a median follow-up of 12 months as a minimum. Odds Ratios (OR) were pooled using a random-effects model. Results: Qualitative analysis included 8 studies (7 observational cohort studies and 1 randomized controlled trial) enrolling 3,718,587 patients. Six studies underwent metanalysis comprising 17,684 postoperative patients with POAF and 2,169,248 postoperative patients without POAF. The development of POAF conferred a four-fold increased risk of stroke in the long-term [OR 4.05; 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.91–5.62]. Mortality in the two studies reporting long-term data was higher in patients with POAF compared to those without POAF (OR 3.59; CI 95% 2.84–4.53). Data about recurrence were too heterogeneous to undergo metanalysis. Conclusions: POAF is associated with a greater risk of stroke and mortality over the long-term period. Studies focusing on AF recurrence are needed to address the perception of POAF as a benign transient entity. The increased mortality risk following POAF should encourage systematic detection and prevention of this arrhythmia.
Long-term outcomes of postoperative atrial fibrillation following non cardiac surgery: A systematic review and metanalysis / Albini, A.; Malavasi, V. L.; Vitolo, M.; Imberti, J. F.; Marietta, M.; Lip, G. Y. H.; Boriani, G.. - In: EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF INTERNAL MEDICINE. - ISSN 0953-6205. - 85:(2021), pp. 27-33. [10.1016/j.ejim.2020.12.018]