, Volume 44, Issue 5, pp 839-847
Date: 15 May 2013

Atrial fibrillation after esophageal cancer surgery: an analysis of 207 consecutive patients

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The aim of this study was to identify perioperative risk factors that are associated with postoperative atrial fibrillation (AF) and the outcomes of different pharmacological interventions in esophageal cancer patients who underwent transthoracic esophagectomy.


This study included 207 patients who underwent a transthoracic esophagectomy for esophageal cancer resection by a single surgeon from January 1, 2004, through December 31, 2010.


Postoperative AF occurred in 19 patients (9.2 %), all of whom received antiarrhythmic drug therapy at the early stage. Antiarrhythmic treatment was effective in 12 cases (63.2 %). In this study, landiolol hydrochloride, an ultrashort-acting β1-selective β-blocker, was the first-line therapy for postoperative AF. A multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that postoperative AF was significantly associated with the use of an ileo-colon for reconstruction after esophagectomy (P = 0.0023, odds ratios [OR] = 13.6) and with the presence of tachycardia with a heart rate of >100 bpm on postoperative day (POD) 1 (P = 0.0004, OR = 18.4).


Postoperative AF is associated with the use of a colon conduit for reconstruction after esophagectomy and with tachycardia with a heart rate >100 bpm on POD 1. Identifying patients at high risk for postoperative AF will allow for more direct application of pharmacological methods of prophylaxis.