Preop Statin Cuts Atrial Fibrillation After Surgery

Atorvastatin treatment confers 61 percent risk reduction for atrial fibrillation

TUESDAY, Sept. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Atorvastatin treatment starting a week prior to elective cardiac surgery reduces the risk of postoperative atrial fibrillation, according to a report published online Sept. 25 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Germano Di Sciascio, M.D., of Campus Bio-Medico University in Rome, Italy, and members of the ARMYDA-3 (Atorvastatin for Reduction of Myocardial Dysrhythmia After Cardiac Surgery) study conducted a randomized, controlled trial of atorvastatin treatment (40 mg/day) in 200 patients undergoing elective cardiac surgery to test a previous observation that preoperative statin therapy reduces postoperative atrial fibrillation.

Atorvastatin significantly reduced postoperative atrial fibrillation compared with placebo (35 percent versus 57 percent) and modestly reduced the length of hospital stay after surgery (6.3 versus 6.9 days). After statistical adjustments, preoperative atorvastatin treatment conferred a 61 percent risk reduction for postoperative atrial fibrillation.

"ARMYDA-3 is the first randomized, controlled trial demonstrating that treatment with atorvastatin significantly reduces the incidence of new-onset postoperative atrial fibrillation and shortens the length of hospital stay in patients undergoing cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass," the authors write. The study "may influence practice patterns with regard to preoperative pharmacological management of patients undergoing elective cardiac operations."

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