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Importance: Postoperative atrial fibrillation (POAF) occurring after cardiac surgery is associated with adverse outcomes. Whether POAF persists beyond discharge is not well defined. Objective: To determine whether continuous cardiac rhythm monitoring enhances detection of POAF among cardiac surgical patients during the first 30 days after hospital discharge compared with usual care. Design, Setting, and Participants: This study is an investigator-initiated, open-label, multicenter, randomized clinical trial conducted at 10 Canadian centers. Enrollment spanned from March 2017 to March 2020, with follow-up through September 11, 2020. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, enrollment stopped on July 17, 2020, at which point 85% of the proposed sample size was enrolled. Cardiac surgical patients with CHA2DS2-VASc (congestive heart failure, hypertension, age ≥75 years, diabetes, prior stroke or transient ischemic attack, vascular disease, age 65-74 years, female sex) score greater than or equal to 4 or greater than or equal to 2 with risk factors for POAF, no history of preoperative AF, and POAF lasting less than 24 hours during hospitalization were enrolled. Interventions: The intervention group underwent continuous cardiac rhythm monitoring with wearable, patch-based monitors for 30 days after randomization. Monitoring was not mandated in the usual care group within 30 days after randomization. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary outcome was cumulative AF and/or atrial flutter lasting 6 minutes or longer detected by continuous cardiac rhythm monitoring or by a 12-lead electrocardiogram within 30 days of randomization. Prespecified secondary outcomes included cumulative AF lasting 6 hours or longer and 24 hours or longer within 30 days of randomization, death, myocardial infarction, ischemic stroke, non-central nervous system thromboembolism, major bleeding, and oral anticoagulation prescription. Results: Of the 336 patients randomized (163 patients in the intervention group and 173 patients in the usual care group; mean [SD] age, 67.4 [8.1] years; 73 women [21.7%]; median [interquartile range] CHA2DS2-VASc score, 4.0 [3.0-4.0] points), 307 (91.4%) completed the trial. In the intent-to-treat analysis, the primary end point occurred in 32 patients (19.6%) in the intervention group vs 3 patients (1.7%) in the usual care group (absolute difference, 17.9%; 95% CI, 11.5%-24.3%; P

Original publication




Journal article


JAMA Network Open

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