New-onset atrial fibrillation after PCI and CABG for left main disease: insights from the EXCEL trial and additional studies


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To provide an up-to-date review of recent trials examining the incidence and prognostic impact of new-onset atrial fibrillation (NOAF) following percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) for left main coronary artery disease (LMCAD) and the impact of postprocedural NOAF compared to nonsurgical atrial fibrillation.

RECENT FINDINGS: A recent analysis from the Evaluation of XIENCE versus Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery for Effectiveness of Left Main Revascularization (EXCEL) trial demonstrated that NOAF is much more frequent following surgical compared with percutaneous revascularization for LMCAD, and is strongly associated with an increased 3-year risk of mortality and stroke. In a recent Danish registry-based, propensity score-matched analysis, postsurgical NOAF conferred a lower risk of adverse outcomes compared with nonsurgical nonvalvular atrial fibrillation.

SUMMARY: These new studies confirm that although postsurgical NOAF after left main revascularization may be of less clinical significance than nonvalvular atrial fibrillation, its occurrence still is strongly associated with subsequent stroke and mortality. Future efforts are warranted to prevent postsurgical NOAF and determine strategies for its optimal management should it occur.

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Kosmidou I and Stone GW. Curr Opin Cardiol. 2018;33:660-664.