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December 4, 1996

Atrial Fibrillation Following Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery

Author Affiliations

The George Washington University Washington, DC

JAMA. 1996;276(21):1719. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540210027014

To the Editor.  —The pathophysiological mechanisms responsible for the high incidence of atrial fibrillation (AF) after coronary artery bypass surgery remain rather unclear. Consequently, identification of clinical predictors remains the most practical approach, as Dr Mathew and colleagues1 demonstrated.Among the predictors of postoperative AF, they listed advanced age and male sex. In a similar study published almost simultaneously, Aranki and colleagues2 also found advanced age and male sex to be significant predictors. In addition, they found the need for an intraoperative intraaortic balloon pump (IABP) to be an independent predictor. I wonder if the MultiCenter Study of Perioperative Ischemia (McSPI) Research Group, which Mathew and colleagues represented, also found this.Another noteworthy difference between these 2 studies was in the estimation of utilization of hospital resources resulting from this complication. Whereas Mathew et al1 found the occurrence of postoperative AF was associated with an increase of