Spironolactone and perioperative atrial fibrillation occurrence in cardiac surgery patients: Rationale and design of the ALDOCURE trial

Am Heart J. 2019 Aug;214:88-96. doi: 10.1016/j.ahj.2019.04.023. Epub 2019 May 9.


Background: After artery bypass grafting (CABG), the presence of perioperative AF (POAF) is associated with greater short- and long-term cardiovascular morbidity. Underlying POAF mechanisms are complex and include the presence of an arrhythmogenic substrate, cardiac fibrosis and electrical remodeling. Aldosterone is a key component in this process. We hypothesize that perioperative mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) blockade may decrease the POAF incidence in patients with a left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) ≥50% who are referred for CABG with or without aortic valve replacement (AVR).

Study design: The ALDOCURE trial (NCT03551548) will be a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial testing the superiority of a low-cost MR antagonist (MRA, spironolactone) on POAF in 1500 adults referred for on-pump elective CABG surgery with or without AVR, without any history of heart failure or atrial arrhythmia. The primary efficacy end point is the occurrence of POAF from randomization to within 5 days after surgery, assessed in a standardized manner. The main secondary efficacy end points include the following: postoperative AF occurring within 5 days after cardiac surgery, perioperative myocardial injury, major cardiovascular events and death occurring within 30 days of surgery, hospital and intensive care unit length of stay, need for readmission, LVEF at discharge and significant ventricular arrhythmias within 5 days after surgery. Safety end points, including blood pressure, serum potassium levels and renal function, will be monitored regularly throughout the trial duration.

Conclusion: The ALDOCURE trial will assess the effectiveness of spironolactone in addition to standard therapy for reducing POAF in patients undergoing CABG.

Clinical trial registration: NCT03551548.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial Protocol
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aldosterone
  • Aortic Valve / surgery
  • Atrial Fibrillation / etiology
  • Atrial Fibrillation / physiopathology
  • Atrial Fibrillation / prevention & control*
  • Coronary Artery Bypass / adverse effects*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Heart Valve Prosthesis Implantation
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mineralocorticoid Receptor Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Postoperative Complications / physiopathology
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic*
  • Spironolactone / therapeutic use*
  • Stroke Volume
  • Time Factors


  • Mineralocorticoid Receptor Antagonists
  • Spironolactone
  • Aldosterone

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT03551548