Diltiazem Does Not Prevent Postoperative Atrial Fibrillation After Thoracoscopic Lobectomy

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Innovations: Technology and Techniques in Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery


Objective: Thoracoscopic lobectomy is associated with lower rates of adverse events compared to thoracotomy. Despite this, postoperative atrial fibrillation (POAF) occurs in at least 10% of patients. Our objective is to determine if prophylaxis with diltiazem significantly reduced POAF events. Methods: Patients without prior history of atrial fibrillation who underwent thoracoscopic lobectomy from 2007 to 2016 at one institution were analyzed in a retrospective cohort study utilizing a prospective database. Patients treated from 2007 to 2012 received no prophylaxis. Patients treated after 2012 received diltiazem postoperatively. All patients were monitored with continuous telemetry postoperatively. Multivariate direct logistic regression was performed to determine independent predictors of POAF. We report adjusted odds ratios and accompanying 95% confidence intervals, with P < 0.05 denoting statistical significance. Results: The final regression model included 416 patients (52 with POAF, 364 without). In univariate analysis, the variables of body mass index and history of congestive heart failure, diabetes, or hypertension, and prophylaxis status did not meet inclusion criteria. Age, gender, history of stroke or transient ischemic attack, and vascular disease were included. Only ages 65 to 74 (P = 0.03) and ≥75 (P = 0.02), compared to <65, were statistically significant predictors of POAF. Adjusted odds ratios of ages 65 to 74 and ≥75 were 2.88 and 2.62, respectively. Conclusions: Diltiazem prophylaxis did not significantly reduce POAF incidence following thoracoscopic lobectomy. Further study is warranted since POAF remains an unwanted source of morbidity and cost for lobectomy patients.

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