Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

BACKGROUND: There is limited information on the incidence and prognostic impact of new-onset atrial fibrillation (NOAF) following percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) for left main coronary artery disease (LMCAD). OBJECTIVES: This study sought to determine the incidence of NOAF following PCI and CABG for LMCAD and its effect on 3-year cardiovascular outcomes. METHODS: In the EXCEL (Evaluation of XIENCE Versus Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery for Effectiveness of Left Main Revascularization) trial, 1,905 patients with LMCAD and low or intermediate SYNTAX scores were randomized to PCI with everolimus-eluting stents versus CABG. Outcomes were analyzed according to the development of NOAF during the initial hospitalization following revascularization. RESULTS: Among 1,812 patients without atrial fibrillation on presentation, NOAF developed at a mean of 2.7 ± 2.5 days after revascularization in 162 patients (8.9%), including 161 of 893 (18.0%) CABG-treated patients and 1 of 919 (0.1%) PCI-treated patients (p < 0.0001). Older age, greater body mass index, and reduced left ventricular ejection fraction were independent predictors of NOAF in patients undergoing CABG. Patients with versus without NOAF had a significantly longer duration of hospitalization, were more likely to be discharged on anticoagulant therapy, and had an increased 30-day rate of Thrombolysis In Myocardial Infarction major or minor bleeding (14.2% vs. 5.5%; p < 0.0001). By multivariable analysis, NOAF after CABG was an independent predictor of 3-year stroke (6.6% vs. 2.4%; adjusted hazard ratio [HR]: 4.19; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.74 to 10.11; p = 0.001), death (11.4% vs. 4.3%; adjusted HR: 3.02; 95% CI: 1.60 to 5.70; p = 0.0006), and the primary composite endpoint of death, MI, or stroke (22.6% vs. 12.8%; adjusted HR: 2.13; 95% CI: 1.39 to 3.25; p = 0.0004). CONCLUSIONS: In patients with LMCAD undergoing revascularization in the EXCEL trial, NOAF was common after CABG but extremely rare after PCI. The development of NOAF was strongly associated with subsequent death and stroke in CABG-treated patients. Further studies are warranted to determine whether prophylactic strategies to prevent or treat atrial fibrillation may improve prognosis in patients with LMCAD who are undergoing CABG. (Evaluation of XIENCE Versus Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery for Effectiveness of Left Main Revascularization [EXCEL]; NCT01205776).

Original publication




Journal article


J Am Coll Cardiol

Publication Date





739 - 748


atrial fibrillation, coronary artery bypass grafting, left main disease, mortality, percutaneous coronary intervention, prognosis, stroke