Low-dose oral amiodarone prophylaxis reduces atrial fibrillation after pulmonary resection

Louis A. Lanza, Antonio I. Visbal, Patrick A. DeValeria, Alan R. Zinsmeister, Nancy N. Diehl, Victor F. Trastek, Leslie J. Kohman, Walter Weder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Background. Atrial fibrillation after pulmonary resection increases morbidity and costs. To evaluate the efficacy of low-dose oral amiodarone (LDOA) as prophylaxis for atrial fibrillation after pulmonary resection, we reviewed all patients 60 years or older having pulmonary resections by thoracotomy in a 30-month period. Methods. We identified 31 patients who received prophylactic LDOA (200 mg by mouth every 8 hours) while hospitalized and 52 patients who received no prophylactic treatment. The groups were comparable for sex, age, comorbidities, and surgical procedure. Results. Twenty of 83 patients (24%) had postoperative atrial fibrillation: 17 of 52 patients (33%) without prophylaxis and 3 of 31 (9.7%) with prophylaxis (odds ratio, 0.221; 95% confidence interval, 0.059 to 0.829; p = 0.0253). The median total hospital charge was $30,800 (range, $20,400-$96,900) for 50 patients without prophylaxis and $26,700 (range, $11,000-$55,900) for 31 patients with prophylaxis (p = not significant). Patients receiving LDOA had lower accumulated charges per day of hospital stay (p = 0.0011). Conclusions. LDOA prophylaxis significantly reduces the incidence of atrial fibrillation after pulmonary resection. Its use in this population may be cost-effective. Results of this pilot study provide a rationale for a prospective randomized trial.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-230
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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