Stroke Risk Stratification in Patients With Postoperative Atrial Fibrillation After Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting

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J Am Heart Assoc. 2022 May 17;11(10):e024703. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.121.024703. Epub 2022 May 16.


Background The CHA2DS2-VASc (congestive heart failure, hypertension, age ≥75 years, diabetes, previous stroke or TIA [transient ischemic attack], vascular disease, age 65 to 74 years, sex category female; 2 indicates 2 points, otherwise 1 point) scoring system is recommended to guide decisions on oral anticoagulation therapy for stroke prevention in patients with nonsurgery atrial fibrillation. A score ≥1 in men and ≥2 in women, corresponding to an annual stroke risk exceeding 1%, warrants long-term oral anticoagulation provided the bleeding risk is acceptable. However, in patients with new-onset postoperative atrial fibrillation, the optimal risk stratification method is unknown. The aim of this study was therefore to evaluate the CHA2DS2-VASc scoring system for estimating the 1-year ischemic stroke risk in patients with new-onset postoperative atrial fibrillation after coronary artery bypass grafting. Methods and Results All patients with new-onset postoperative atrial fibrillation and without oral anticoagulation after first-time isolated coronary artery bypass grafting performed in Sweden during 2007 to 2017 were eligible for this registry-based observational cohort study. The 1-year ischemic stroke rate at each step of the CHA2DS2-VASc score was estimated using a Kaplan-Meier estimator. Of the 6368 patients included (mean age, 69.9 years; 81% men), >97% were treated with antiplatelet drugs. There were 147 ischemic strokes during the first year of follow-up. The ischemic stroke rate at 1 year was 0.3%, 0.7%, and 1.5% in patients with CHA2DS2-VASc scores of 1, 2, and 3, respectively, and ≥2.3% in patients with a score ≥4. A sensitivity analysis, with the inclusion of patients on anticoagulants, was performed and supported the primary results. Conclusions Patients with new-onset atrial fibrillation after coronary artery bypass grafting and a CHA2DS2-VASc score <3 have such a low 1-year risk for ischemic stroke that oral anticoagulation therapy should probably be avoided.

PMID:35574947 | DOI:10.1161/JAHA.121.024703