RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Colchicine reduces postoperative atrial fibrillation: results of the Colchicine for the Prevention of the Postpericardiotomy Syndrome (COPPS) atrial fibrillation substudy.

Circulation 2011 November 23
BACKGROUND: Inflammation and pericarditis may be contributing factors for postoperative atrial fibrillation (POAF), and both are potentially affected by antiinflammatory drugs and colchicine, which has been shown to be safe and efficacious for the prevention of pericarditis and the postpericardiotomy syndrome (PPS). The aim of the Colchicine for the Prevention of the Post-Pericardiotomy Syndrome (COPPS) POAF substudy was to test the efficacy and safety of colchicine for the prevention of POAF after cardiac surgery.

METHODS AND RESULTS: The COPPS POAF substudy included 336 patients (mean age, 65.7±12.3 years; 69% male) of the COPPS trial, a multicenter, double-blind, randomized trial. Substudy patients were in sinus rhythm before starting the intervention (placebo/colchicine 1.0 mg twice daily starting on postoperative day 3 followed by a maintenance dose of 0.5 mg twice daily for 1 month in patients ≥70 kg, halved doses for patients <70 kg or intolerant to the highest dose). The substudy primary end point was the incidence of POAF on intervention at 1 month. Despite well-balanced baseline characteristics, patients on colchicine had a reduced incidence of POAF (12.0% versus 22.0%, respectively; P=0.021; relative risk reduction, 45%; number needed to treat, 11) with a shorter in-hospital stay (9.4±3.7 versus 10.3±4.3 days; P=0.040) and rehabilitation stay (12.1±6.1 versus 13.9±6.5 days; P=0.009). Side effects were similar in the study groups.

CONCLUSION: Colchicine seems safe and efficacious in the reduction of POAF with the potentiality of halving the complication and reducing the hospital stay.

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