The prediction of postoperative stroke or death in patients with preoperative atrial fibrillation undergoing non-cardiac surgery: a VISION sub-study Academic Article uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND: The optimal means of pre-operative risk stratification in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) is uncertain. OBJECTIVE: To examine the accuracy of AF thromboembolic risk models (the CHADS2, CHA2DS2-VASc, and R2CHADS2 scores) for predicting 30-day stroke and/or all-cause mortality after non-cardiac surgery in patients with preoperative AF, and to compare these risk scores with the Revised Cardiac Risk Index (RCRI). PATIENTS/METHODS: A multicentre (8 countries, 2007-2011) prospective cohort study of patients ≥ 45 years of age undergoing inpatient non-cardiac surgery, who were followed until 30 days after surgery. We calculated c-statistics for each risk prediction model and net reclassification improvements (NRIs) compared with the RCRI. RESULTS: The 961 patients with preoperative AF were at higher risk of any cardiovascular event in the 30 days postoperatively compared with the 13 001 patients without AF: 26.6% vs. 9.0%; adjusted odds ratio, 1.58; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.33-1.88. All thromboembolic risk scores predicted postoperative death just as well as the RCRI (with c-indices between 0.67 and 0.72). Compared with the RCRI (which had a c-index of 0.64 for 30-day stroke/death), the CHADS2 (c-index, 0.67; NRI, 0.31; 95% CI, 0.02-0.61) significantly improved postoperative stroke/mortality risk prediction, largely due to improved discrimination of patients who did not subsequently have an event. CONCLUSIONS: In AF patients, the three thromboembolic risk scores performed similarly to the RCRI in predicting death within 30 days and the CHADS2 score was the best predictor of postoperative stroke/death regardless of type of surgery.


  • McAlister, FA
  • Jacka, M
  • Graham, M
  • Youngson, E
  • Cembrowski, G
  • Bagshaw, SM
  • Pannu, N
  • Townsend, DR
  • Srinathan, S
  • Alonso-Coello, P
  • Devereaux, Philip

publication date

  • October 2015

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