Effects of Short-Term Episodes of Atrial Fibrillation after Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting on the Long-term Incidence of Atrial Fibrillation and Ischemic Stroke

Heart Surg Forum. 2024 Jan 10;27(1):E014-E019. doi: 10.59958/hsf.6787.


Background: To explore whether postoperative atrial fibrillation (POAF) has an impact on the incidence of late atrial fibrillation (AF) and late ischemic stroke after isolated coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) compared to non-POAF patients.

Methods: A total of 243 eligible patients were followed for five years, and divided into a POAF group (n = 69) and a non-POAF group (n = 174). The primary end point was the incidence of late AF, and late ischemic stroke. Kaplan-Meier analyses and Cox proportional hazards models were used to examine whether POAF is an independent risk factor for the occurrence of late AF and late ischemic stroke.

Results: POAF patients were older than non-POAF patients. During the 5-year follow-up, the late occurrence of AF was significantly higher in POAF patients than in non-POAF (15.9% vs. 7.9% p = 0.006). There was no significant difference in the incidence of late ischemic stroke between POAF and non-POAF groups (p = 0.406). COX proportional regression analysis showed that POAF was independently associated with the late occurrence of AF (hazard ratio (HR) 3.27; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.33-8.03, p = 0.01).

Conclusion: POAF is an independent risk factor for the occurrence of late AF but not stroke after isolated CABG.

MeSH terms

  • Atrial Fibrillation* / epidemiology
  • Atrial Fibrillation* / etiology
  • Coronary Artery Bypass / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Ischemic Stroke*
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors