Obstructive Sleep Apnea Is an Independent Predictor of Postoperative Atrial Fibrillation in Cardiac Surgery

Jim K. Wong, Bryan G. Maxwell, Clete A. Kushida, Kristin L. Sainani, Robert L. Lobato, Y. Joseph Woo, Ronald G. Pearl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Objective To test the hypothesis that obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a risk factor for development of postoperative atrial fibrillation (POAF) after cardiac surgery. Design Retrospective analysis. Setting Single-center university hospital. Participants Five hundred forty-five patients in sinus rhythm preoperatively undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), aortic valve replacement, mitral valve replacement/repair, or combined valve/CABG surgery from January 2008 to April 2011. Interventions Retrospective review of medical records. Measurements and Main Results Postoperative atrial fibrillation was defined as atrial fibrillation requiring therapeutic intervention. Of 545 cardiac surgical patients, 226 (41%) patients developed POAF. The risk was higher in 72 OSA patients than 473 patients without OSA (67% v 38%, adjusted hazard ratio 1.83 [95% CI: 1.30-2.58], p<0.001). Of the 32 OSA patients who used home positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy, 18 (56%) developed POAF compared with 29 of 38 (76%) patients who did not use PAP at home (unadjusted hazard ratio 0.63 [95% CI: 0.35-1.15], p = 0.13). Conclusion OSA is significantly associated with POAF in cardiac surgery patients. Further investigation is needed to determine whether or not use of positive airway pressure in OSA patients reduces the risk of POAF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1140-1147
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of cardiothoracic and vascular anesthesia
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015


  • cardiac surgery
  • obstructive sleep apnea
  • postoperative atrial fibrillation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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