The Effect of Posterior Pericardiotomy on Pericardial Effusion and Atrial Fibrillation after Off-Pump Coronary Artery Bypass Graft
The most common type of arrhythmia following coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) is atrial fibrillation (AF) with an incidence rate of 20-30%. Pericardial effusion is one of the etiologic factors of atrial fibrillation occurring after CABG. Posterior pericardiotomy (PP) causes the drainage of blood and fluids from the pericardial space into the pleural space leading to a decreased pericardial effusion. Most of the studies dealing with the occurrence of AF in the surgical operation of CABG have focused on patients undergoing on-pump CABG. The purpose of the present study was to determine the effect of posterior pericardiotomy on pericardial effusion and atrial fibrillation following the off-pump CABG. This study was a clinical trial conducted on 207 patients. The patients were randomly assigned to groups A, and B. Posterior pericardiotomy was performed on the patients in Group A. This was not done on patients in Group B. Following general anesthesia and median sternotomy, the left internal mammary artery (LIMA) and saphenous vein were harvested simultaneously. Following the injection of heparin, distal and proximal anastomosis was performed and at the end of surgery, a longitudinal incision with a length of 4 cm was performed parallel and posterior to the left phrenic nerve from the left vein to diaphragm for patients in the pericardiotomy group. 105 patients in the pericardiotomy group and 102 patients in the control group were examined regarding demographic variables, AF incidence, and pericardial effusion. There was no statistically significant correlation between two groups. There was no statistically significant difference between the two groups regarding the rate of AF incidence (P=0.719) and the rate of pericardial effusion (P=1). Posterior pericardiotomy has no effect on postoperative AF incidence and pericardial effusion in patients undergoing the off-pump CABG.
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