IMR Press / RCM / Volume 22 / Issue 2 / DOI: 10.31083/j.rcm2202040
Open Access Review
Determinants of atrial fibrillation after cardiac surgery
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1 School of Medicine, University of Liverpool, Cedar House, Ashton Street, L69 3GE Liverpool, UK
2 Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Liverpool Heart and Chest, L14 3PE Liverpool, UK
*Correspondence: (Amer Harky)
These authors contributed equally.
Rev. Cardiovasc. Med. 2021, 22(2), 329–341;
Submitted: 4 March 2021 | Revised: 25 March 2021 | Accepted: 29 March 2021 | Published: 30 June 2021
Copyright: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by IMR Press.
This is an open access article under the CC BY 4.0 license (

Post-operative Atrial fibrillation (POAF) is a common complication post cardiac surgery. It can result in detrimental short- and long-term outcomes due to the increased risk of stroke, cardiac arrest and congestive heart failure in addition to prolonged intensive care and total hospital stay raising the overall healthcare cost. Accurately identifying predictors and biomarkers for POAF ensures that patients at greatest risk can be given the appropriate prophylactic measures; resources can be distributed to the groups who are most in need and where they will gain the optimum effect. Commonly recurring predictors can be investigated further to unveil the pathophysiology behind POAF, which has yet to be fully understood. This literature review aims to examine relevant studies on the proposed predictors of POAF: increased age, gender, history of atrial fibrillation, hypertension, cardiopulmonary bypass time and the use of beta blockers amongst others. This paper will discuss the significance of both the well-known and newfound risk factors to consolidate the areas that require further exploration in order to highlight those at risk and to unravel the mechanism behind POAF.

Fig. 1.
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