Impact of Preoperative Atrial Fibrillation on Postoperative Thromboembolic Events After Left Ventricular Assist Device Implantation

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The Annals of thoracic surgery


BACKGROUND: The incidence of atrial fibrillation (AF) among patients undergoing left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation is high. However, the impact of AF on clinical outcomes has not been clarified. We reviewed our 9-year experience of continuous flow (CF) LVADs to determine the impact of preoperative AF on stroke, device thrombosis, and survival.

METHODS: Between March 2006 and May 2015, 231 patients underwent implantation of 240 CF LVADs, 127 (52.9%) as bridge to transplantation and 113 (47.1%) as destination therapy. Effect of AF on postoperative outcomes was assessed by using Kaplan-Meier survival and Cox proportional hazard regression.

RESULTS: There were 78 patients (32.5%) with preoperative AF with a mean age of 55.7 ± 11.4 years. A similar incidence of stroke was found in patients with and without AF, 12.8% versus 16.0%, respectively (p = 0.803). Survival was similar, with 1-, 6-, 12-, and 24-month survivals of 96.2%, 91.7%, 84.5%, and 69.2%, respectively, for AF patients, versus 93.1%, 85.0%, 79.4%, and 74.1%, respectively, for non-AF patients (p = 0.424). Preoperative AF was not a significant independent predictor of survival with the use of Cox proportional hazard regression (hazard ratio 1.08, 95% confidence interval: 0.66 to 1.76).

CONCLUSIONS: Preoperative AF was associated with a similar incidence of postoperative stroke, device thrombosis, and survival. On the basis of these data, it seems unnecessary to perform a left atrial appendage ligation or to alter postoperative anticoagulation in patients with AF undergoing LVAD implantation.

Medical Subject Headings

Adult; Aged; Anticoagulants; Atrial Appendage; Atrial Fibrillation; Disease Susceptibility; Equipment Failure; Female; Heart Failure; Heart-Assist Devices; Humans; Incidence; Intensive Care Units; Kaplan-Meier Estimate; Length of Stay; Male; Middle Aged; Proportional Hazards Models; Stroke; Thromboembolism; Thrombophilia; Treatment Outcome; Unnecessary Procedures

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