This study sought to investigate the prevalence, predictors, and outcomes of patients with post-operative ventricular arrhythmia (POVA) in a large cohort of patients.
New-onset POVA after cardiac surgery (CS) is uncommon and has controversial prognostic value.
A total of 14,720 consecutive patients undergoing CS at Emory University between January 2004 and July 2010 were included in the study. Data on all-cause mortality were obtained from Social Security Administration death records. Multivariable regression models were constructed to determine the risk factors for POVA and to estimate the independent impact of POVA on long-term survival after adjusting for 40 different covariates.
POVA occurred in 248 patients (1.7%). Patients with POVA were older (63.5 vs. 61.6 years), had lower left ventricular ejection fraction (EF) (43.7 vs. 51.3), and had greater comorbidities (Society of Thoracic Surgeons mortality risk score of 7.2% vs. 3.1%, p < 0.001). Multivariable analysis showed that older age (odds ratio [OR]: 1.018 per 1-year increase, p < 0.001), emergent surgery (OR: 1.77, p = 0.019), and the presence of PVD (OR: 1.41, p = 0.049) were associated with a higher incidence of POVA, whereas higher left ventricular EF (OR: 0.97 per 1% increase, p < 0.001), mild chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (OR: 0.37, p < 0.001), and off-pump surgery (OR: O.41, p < 0.001) were associated with a lower incidence of POVA. POVA was associated with substantially increased adjusted long-term mortality (hazard rate: 2.53, p < 0.001) over 3.5 years of follow-up.
POVA is associated with increased long-term mortality after CS. Older age, PVD, lower EF, and emergent surgery are associated with a higher risk of POVA, whereas off-pump surgery seems to be protective.