Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, University of Wuerzburg, Wuerzburg, Germany; Comprehensive Heart Failure Centre Würzburg, University of Wuerzburg, Wuerzburg, Germany. Electronic address: [Email]
OBJECTIVE : New-onset postoperative atrial fibrillation is common after cardiac surgery. Less has been reported about the relationship among fibrosis, inflammation, calcium-induced left atrial and right atrial contractile forces, and postoperative atrial fibrillation. We sought to identify predictors of postoperative atrial fibrillation. METHODS : From August 2016 to February 2018, we evaluated 229 patients who had preoperative sinus rhythm before elective primary coronary artery bypass grafting. Of 229 patients, 191 maintained sinus rhythm postoperatively, whereas 38 patients developed atrial fibrillation. Preoperative tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1, pentraxin-3, matrix metallopeptidase-9, galectin-3, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, growth differentiation factor 15, and transforming growth factor-ß were measured. Clinical and echocardiographic findings (tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion for right heart function) and calcium-induced force measurements from left atrial and right atrial-derived skinned myocardial fibers were recorded. RESULTS : Patients with atrial fibrillation were older (P = .001), had enlarged left atrial (P = .0001) and right atrial areas (P = .0001), and had decreased tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (P = .001). Levels of matrix metallopeptidase-9 and pentraxin-3 were decreased (P < .05), whereas growth differentiation factor 15 was increased (P = .001). We detected lower left atrial force values at calcium-induced force measurements 5.5 (P < .05), 5.4 (P < .01), and 5.3 to 4.52 (P = .0001) and right atrial force values at calcium-induced force measurements 5.0 to 4.52 (P < .05) in patients with postoperative atrial fibrillation. Multivariable analysis showed that advanced age (P = .033), decreased left atrial force value at calcium-induced force measurement of 5.5 (P = .033), enlarged left atrial (P = .013) and right atrial (P = .081) areas, and reduced tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (P = .010) independently predicted postoperative atrial fibrillation. CONCLUSIONS : Advanced age, decreased left atrial force value at calcium-induced force measurement of 5.5, enlarged left atrial and right atrial areas, and reduced tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion were identified as independent predictors for postoperative atrial fibrillation.