Postoperative atrial fibrillation after cesarean delivery

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21454/rjaic.7518.252.klv

Arun Kalava, Abby M. Pribish

Tampa General Hospital, University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine, USA

Background and Aims. Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common arrhythmia seen clinically. Due to the lack of literature and guidelines on maternal AF as a postoperative complication following cesarean delivery (CD), we undertook a study to characterize parturients who developed AF following CD and to evaluate arrhythmia management and outcomes in this patient population.
Methods. After receiving ethics committee approval, a retrospective chart review was performed to determine the incidence, possible risk factors, treatment, and outcome of women who developed AF following CD performed between 2003 and 2012 at New York Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn, New York.
Results. A total of 17,039 CDs were performed at New York Methodist Hospital from 2003 to 2012. Of these, seven parturients developed AF after CD. The incidence of AF following CD in this patient population was 1:2,434 (0.04%). The age range was 26-41 years, with a median of 33 years. All 7 parturients were at term or postterm. Two deliveries were elective and five were emergent. Two of the seven parturients had prior history of paroxysmal AF. One patient was identified as having mitral regurgitation. All seven had
low levels of serum magnesium postoperatively. Out of the seven, two parturients had spontaneous conversion to normal sinus rhythm, one required electrical cardioversion and four required pharmacologic cardioversion.
Conclusions. Postoperative AF (POAF) exists as a rare complication in women who undergo CD with an incidence of 0.04% in our patient population. All parturients in our study were noted to have hypomagnesemia in the postoperative period. Occurrence of AF increased length of hospital stay and utilization of hospital resources.
Keywords: postoperative atrial fibrillation, cesarean delivery