Postoperative atrial fibrillation (AF) is a serious yet common complication after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery. Risk factors for postoperative AF have been identified, including echocardiographic parameters, and these are relied on to implement preventative strategies that reduce the incidence of AF. There has yet to be a study examining the impact of echocardiographic right-sided cardiac parameters on the prediction of postoperative AF. Thus, a panel of right-sided cardiac parameters was measured in a cohort of patients undergoing isolated CABG surgery, excluding those who did not have echocardiographic assessment within 30 days before surgery and those with any history of AF. The primary outcome was postoperative AF defined as any episode of AF requiring treatment during the index hospitalization. Postoperative AF occurred in 197 of 768 patients (25.6%); these were older and more likely to have hypertension and chronic kidney disease. After adjustment for clinical and echocardiographic variables, left atrial volume index ≥34 ml/m(2) (odds ratio [OR] 1.98, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.36 to 2.87), abnormal right ventricular myocardial performance index (OR 1.50, 95% CI 1.01 to 2.24), and advancing age (OR 1.05, 95% CI 1.03 to 1.07) were found to be independent predictors of postoperative AF. In conclusion, right ventricular myocardial performance index is a novel predictor of postoperative AF in patients undergoing isolated CABG surgery and appears to be additive to established risk factors such as age and left atrial volume.
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