Antiarrhythmic Therapy to Prevent Atrial Fibrillation after Cardiac Surgery

  • Bradley P. Knight
  • Fred Morady
Part of the Developments in Cardiovascular Medicine book series (DICM, volume 222)


Cardiac surgery and the postoperative state are associated with increased catecholamine levels [1]. Therefore, beta-blockers are logical agents to prevent atrial fibrillation in this setting. Indeed, many trials have shown a benefit with prophylactic beta-blockade [2-9]. However, the data regarding beta-blockers must be interpreted with caution. Some of the apparent benefit of beta-blockers may be explained by beta-blocker withdrawal in patients assigned to placebo. In addition, many of the beta-blocker trials excluded patients with left ventricular dysfunction and obstructive lung disease, and patients undergoing concomitant valvular surgery. Because of the limitations of beta-blockers and because there is a significant incidence of postoperative atrial fibrillation despite beta-blocker prophylaxis, other pharmacological approaches to prevent postoperative atrial fibrillation have been investigated.


Atrial Fibrillation Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting Antiarrhythmic Drug Postoperative Atrial Fibrillation Supraventricular Tachyarrhythmia 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bradley P. Knight
    • 1
  • Fred Morady
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of Michigan Medical CenterAnn Arbor

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