Incidence and predictors of postoperative atrial fibrillation in kidney transplant recipients

Gaetano La Manna, Giuseppe Boriani, Irene Capelli, Antonio Marchetti, Valeria Grandinetti, Alessandra Spazzoli, Vittorio Dalmastri, Paola Todeschini, Paola Rucci, Sergio Stefoni
Transplantation 2013 December 15, 96 (11): 981-6

BACKGROUND: Postoperative atrial fibrillation (POAF) is a complication of cardiothoracic and noncardiothoracic surgery. Kidney transplant recipients bear several known risk factors and may have a higher incidence of POAF. We retrospectively studied kidney and kidney/liver transplant recipients to estimate their POAF incidence and identify relevant risk factors. We also adapted a clinical score originally designed to predict thromboembolic risk in atrial fibrillation (AF; CHA2DS2-VASc) for assessing transplant patients.

METHODS: We reviewed the clinical charts of kidney or kidney/liver transplant recipients from January 2005 to December 2008 at St. Orsola University Hospital Kidney Transplant Centre. Patients with and without POAF were compared on a number of clinical, laboratory, and instrumental data.

RESULTS: The POAF incidence in kidney transplant recipients was 8.2%. Risk factors for POAF identified in univariate analyses included older recipient age, history of myocardial infarction, history of AF, liver/kidney transplantation, arterial stiffness, atherosclerotic plaques in the aorta or lower limbs, and diabetes mellitus. In a multivariate analysis, age, myocardial infarction history and combined liver/kidney transplantation were significant independent predictors of POAF. The modified CHA2DS2-VASc score proved to have a better predictive validity that the original CHA2DS2-VASc (area under the curve=0.71, 95% confidence interval=0.63-0.79 vs. area under the curve=0.62, 95% confidence interval=0.52-0.73, respectively).

CONCLUSION: AF is a notable complication of kidney, and particularly simultaneous liver/kidney, transplant surgery. Age, previous myocardial infarction, and simultaneous liver/kidney transplant independently predicted POAF. The modified CHA2DS2-VASc score could be useful to predict POAF risk in kidney transplant candidates.

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