Preoperative levels of natriuretic peptides and the incidence of postoperative atrial fibrillation after noncardiac surgery: a prospective cohort study Academic Article uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND: Postoperative atrial fibrillation (POAF) is associated with clinically significant short- and long-term complications after noncardiac surgery. Our aim was to describe the incidence of clinically important POAF after noncardiac surgery and establish the prognostic value of N-terminal pro-brain-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) in this context. METHODS: The Vascular events In noncardiac Surgery patIents cOhort evaluatioN (VISION) Study was a prospective cohort study involving patients aged 45 years and older who had inpatient noncardiac surgery that was performed between August 2007 and November 2013. We determined 30-day incidence of clinically important POAF (i.e., resulting in angina, congestive heart failure, symptomatic hypotension or requiring treatment) using logistic regression models to analyze the association between preoperative NT-proBNP and POAF. RESULTS: In 37 664 patients with no history of atrial fibrillation, we found that the incidence of POAF was 1.0% (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.9%-1.1%; 369 events); 3.2% (95% CI 2.3%-4.4%) in patients undergoing major thoracic surgery, 1.3% (95% CI 1.2%-1.5%) in patients undergoing major nonthoracic surgery and 0.2% (95% CI 0.1%-0.3%) in patients undergoing low-risk surgery. In a subgroup of 9789 patients with preoperative NT-proBNP measurements, the biomarker improved the prediction of POAF risk over conventional prognostic factors (likelihood ratio test p < 0.001; fraction of new information from NT-proBNP was 16%). Compared with a reference NT-proBNP measurement set at 100 ng/L, adjusted odds ratios for the occurrence of POAF were 1.31 (95% CI 1.15-1.49) at 200 ng/L, 2.07 (95% CI 1.27-3.36) at 1500 ng/L and 2.39 (95% CI 1.26-4.51) at 3000 ng/L. INTERPRETATION: We determined that the incidence of clinically important POAF after noncardiac surgery was 1.0%. We also found that preoperative NT-proBNP levels were associated with POAF independent of established prognostic factors. Trial registration:, no. NCT00512109.


  • Szczeklik, Wojciech
  • LeManach, Yannick
  • Fronczek, Jakub
  • Polok, Kamil
  • Conen, David
  • McAlister, Finlay A
  • Srinathan, Sadeesh
  • Alonso-Coello, Pablo
  • Biccard, Bruce
  • Duceppe, Emmanuelle
  • Heels-Ansdell, Diane
  • Górka, Jacek
  • Pettit, Shirley
  • Roshanov, Pavel S
  • Devereaux, Philip

publication date

  • December 7, 2020

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