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December 28, 2005

Prophylaxis Against Postoperative Atrial FibrillationCurrent Progress and Future Directions

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Anesthesiology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC.

JAMA. 2005;294(24):3140-3142. doi:10.1001/jama.294.24.3140

Atrial fibrillation is by far the most common complication following cardiac surgery, with an incidence consistently reported to range between 27% and 40% and with little change over the past 2 decades.15 Postoperative atrial fibrillation is associated with greater resource use as well as neurological, renal, and infectious complications.4 Patients with recurrent episodes of postoperative atrial fibrillation appear to be at the greatest risk for these adverse outcomes.4 Although atrial fibrillation is often less costly than other postsurgical complications, it is clear that the high rate of occurrence and recurrence places substantial financial and clinical burdens on clinicians and patients.2,6

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