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Anterior Fat Pad Preserves Postop Parasympathetic Tone

Postoperative fibrillation, hospital costs unaffected

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Preservation of the anterior fat pad found on the surface of the atria between the aorta and right pulmonary artery helps to maintain parasympathetic tone after coronary artery bypass graft surgery, according to results from AFIST-III (Atrial Fibrillation Suppression Trial-III), published in the Jan. 23 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

In the study, Jeffrey Kluger, M.D., of the University of Connecticut School of Medicine in Farmington, and colleagues conducted a randomized, blinded, controlled trial to evaluate the impact of anterior fat pad maintenance on the incidence of postoperative atrial fibrillation (POAF) in 180 patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting.

The investigators found that fat pad maintenance did not reduce the incidence of POAF or total hospital costs, but was associated with higher heart rate variability, an established marker of parasympathetic tone.

"Maintaining the anterior fat pad does not alter the incidence of POAF after coronary artery bypass grafting or total hospital costs in any appreciable way, even though it preserves parasympathetic tone," the authors conclude.

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