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Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg. 2009 Dec;38(6):683-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ejvs.2009.07.006. Epub 2009 Aug 15.

Prognosis of transient new-onset atrial fibrillation during vascular surgery.

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Department of Vascular Surgery, Erasmus MC, 's Gravendijkwal 230, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.



Chronic atrial fibrillation (AF) in a non-surgical setting is associated with cardiovascular events. However, the prognosis of transient new-onset AF during vascular surgery is unknown.


The purpose of this study is to investigate the prognosis of new-onset AF during vascular surgery using continuous electrocardiographic monitoring (continuous-ECG).


In this study, 317 patients, all in sinus rhythm, scheduled for major vascular surgery were screened for cardiac risk factors. Continuous-ECG recordings for 72h and standard ECG on days 3, 7 and 30 were used to identify new-onset AF. Cardiac troponin T (cTnT) was measured routinely after surgery. Study endpoint was a composite of cardiac death, myocardial infarction, unstable angina and stroke (cardiovascular events) at 30 days after surgery and during late follow-up. Median follow-up was 12 (interquartile range 2-28) months.


New-onset AF was noted in 15 (4.7%) patients. All but three patients returned spontaneously to sinus rhythm. The composite endpoint of cardiovascular events within 30 days and during late follow-up occurred in 34 (11%) and 62 (20%) patients, respectively. Multivariate regression analysis showed that new-onset AF was associated with perioperative (hazard ratio (HR) 6.0; 95% CI: 2.4-15) and late cardiovascular events (HR 4.2, 95% CI: 2.1-8.8).


New-onset AF during vascular surgery is associated with an increased incidence of 30-day and late cardiovascular events.

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