Anticoagulation and amiodarone for new atrial fibrillation after coronary artery bypass grafting: Prescription patterns and 30-day outcomes in the United States and Canada.

Journal Article (Multicenter Study;Journal Article)


We sought to elucidate national practice patterns regarding anticoagulation and antiarrhythmic medication use at discharge and examine short-term patient outcomes.


In this retrospective cohort study, we analyzed the data of patients from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons Adult Cardiac Surgery Database from July 2011 to June 2018 who underwent first-time isolated coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) and developed new post-CABG atrial fibrillation (AF) without significant complications. In total, 166,747 patients met study criteria. We examined 30-day outcomes.


In total, 166,747 patients were analyzed and divided into 4 groups based on discharge medications: amiodarone with or without anticoagulation, anticoagulation alone, and neither. Demographic characteristics were similar among the 4 groups. In total, 25.7% of patients were discharged on anticoagulation with an average CHA2 DS2 -VASc score of 3.2 ± 1.3. Anticoagulation use at discharge was not associated with lower 30-day stroke readmissions (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 0.87; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.65-1.16; P = .35). Adjusted 30-day readmissions for major bleeding were significantly more common in anticoagulated patients (AOR, 4.30; 95% CI, 3.69-5.03; P < .0001). Among those discharged off anticoagulation, there was no significant difference in adjusted 30-day stroke rates based on amiodarone use at discharge (AOR, 1.19; 95% CI, 0.85-1.66; P = .31).


Post-CABG anticoagulation for new AF is associated with increased bleeding and no difference in stroke at 30 days. Prospective randomized studies are needed to formalize safe and efficacious short- and long-term management strategies.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Matos, JD; McIlvaine, S; Grau-Sepulveda, M; Jawitz, OK; Brennan, JM; Khabbaz, KR; Sellke, FW; Yeh, R; Zimetbaum, P

Published Date

  • August 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 162 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 616 - 624.e3

PubMed ID

  • 32197901

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC7434648

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1097-685X

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-5223

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2020.01.077


  • eng