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Adv Pharm Bull. 2016 Jun;6(2):243-50. doi: 10.15171/apb.2016.033. Epub 2016 Jun 30.

Vitamin C for the Prevention of Postoperative Atrial Fibrillation after Cardiac Surgery: A Meta-Analysis.

Author information

Cardiology Department Red Cross Hospital, Athens, Greece.
Department of Computer Science and Biomedical Informatics, University of Thessaly, Lamia, Greece.
Internal Medicine Department, Laiko Hospital, Athens, Greece.
Cardiology Department, Attiko Hospital, Athens, Greece.
Department of Pathology, Medical School of the National University of Athens, Greece.
Cardiac Surgery Department, Attiko Hospital, Athens, Greece.



Several studies have investigated the administration of vitamin C (vitC) for the prevention of postoperative atrial fibrillation (AF) after cardiac surgery. However, their findings were inconsistent. The purpose of this meta-analysis was to evaluate the efficacy of vitC as prophylaxis for the prevention of postoperative AF in cardiac surgery.


A systematic search of PubMed, EMBASE, Google Scholar, the Cochrane Library, and clinical trial registries, was performed. 9 studies, published from August 2001 to May 2015, were included, with a total of 1,037 patients. Patients were randomized to receive vitC, or placebo.


Cardiac surgery patients who received vitC as prophylaxis, had a significantly lower incidence of postoperative AF (random effects OR=0.478, 95% CI 0.340 - 0.673, P < 10(-4)). No significant heterogeneity was detected across the analyzed studies (I(2)=21.7%), and no publication bias or other small study-related bias was found.


Our findings suggest that VitC is effective as prophylaxis for the prevention of postoperative AF. The administration of vitC may be considered in all patients undergoing cardiac surgery.


CABG; Cardiac surgery; Post-operative atrial fibrillation; Valvular surgery; Vitamin C

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