Atrial fibrillation continues to plague intensivists managing post-cardiac surgery patients. Large clinical trials in non-surgical populations have demonstrated that rhythm control offers no benefits over a simpler rate control strategy. However, it is unclear if these findings can be extrapolated to the post-cardiac surgical population. As such, Gillinov et al conducted a randomized controlled trial hoping to answer this very question.
They found that strategies for rate control and rhythm control to treat post-operative atrial fibrillation were associated with equal numbers of days of hospitalization, similar complication rates and similarly low rates of persistent atrial fibrillation 60 days after onset.
Read the full Concise Critical Appraisal by logging in to the SCCM eCommunity. Concise Critical Appraisal is a regular feature aimed at highlighting the best and most relevant literature from a variety of academic journals and encouraging discussion around recent studies and research.