Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common arrhythmia after coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG). The purpose of this study was to determine the role of P wave duration, amplitude and dispersion in the prediction of AF after CABG. This study included 120 patients undergoing elective CABG. Clinical characteristics, 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG), echocardiogram and coronary angiogram were obtained in all patients. We measured P wave duration, amplitude and dispersion from 12-lead ECG in each patient. After CABG, all patients were continuously monitored for AF attacks in the intensive care unit and ordinary ward. Our results showed that age greater than 60 years was the strongest predictor of postoperative AF (p<0.01), with a 3.7-fold greater likelihood of developing postoperative AF compared to ages less than 60 years. Gender was another independent predictor of postoperative AF, with men being 3.0 times more likely to develop postoperative AF compared to women (p=0.03). The presence of prolonged P wave duration (≥100 ms in lead II) was also an independent predictor (p =0.04), with 2.9-fold greater risk of developing postoperative AF compared to a P wave duration of less than 100 ms. The P wave dispersion was similar between patients with and without postoperative AF (29±15 vs. 33±15 mm, p=NS). In conclusion, old age, male gender and prolonged P wave duration were independent predictors of AF after CABG. However, P wave dispersion and amplitude did not provide significant information in the prediction of postoperative AF.
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