New-Onset Atrial Fibrillation After PCI or CABG for Left Main Disease: The EXCEL Trial

Ioanna Kosmidou, Shmuel Chen, A. Pieter Kappetein, Patrick W. Serruys, Bernard J. Gersh, John D. Puskas, David E. Kandzari, David P. Taggart, Marie Claude Morice, Paweł E. Buszman, Andrzej Bochenek, Erick Schampaert, Pierre Pagé, Joseph F. Sabik, Thomas McAndrew, Björn Redfors, Ori Ben-Yehuda, Gregg W. Stone

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79 Scopus citations


Background: There is limited information on the incidence and prognostic impact of new-onset atrial fibrillation (NOAF) following percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) for left main coronary artery disease (LMCAD). Objectives: This study sought to determine the incidence of NOAF following PCI and CABG for LMCAD and its effect on 3-year cardiovascular outcomes. Methods: In the EXCEL (Evaluation of XIENCE Versus Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery for Effectiveness of Left Main Revascularization) trial, 1,905 patients with LMCAD and low or intermediate SYNTAX scores were randomized to PCI with everolimus-eluting stents versus CABG. Outcomes were analyzed according to the development of NOAF during the initial hospitalization following revascularization. Results: Among 1,812 patients without atrial fibrillation on presentation, NOAF developed at a mean of 2.7 ± 2.5 days after revascularization in 162 patients (8.9%), including 161 of 893 (18.0%) CABG-treated patients and 1 of 919 (0.1%) PCI-treated patients (p < 0.0001). Older age, greater body mass index, and reduced left ventricular ejection fraction were independent predictors of NOAF in patients undergoing CABG. Patients with versus without NOAF had a significantly longer duration of hospitalization, were more likely to be discharged on anticoagulant therapy, and had an increased 30-day rate of Thrombolysis In Myocardial Infarction major or minor bleeding (14.2% vs. 5.5%; p < 0.0001). By multivariable analysis, NOAF after CABG was an independent predictor of 3-year stroke (6.6% vs. 2.4%; adjusted hazard ratio [HR]: 4.19; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.74 to 10.11; p = 0.001), death (11.4% vs. 4.3%; adjusted HR: 3.02; 95% CI: 1.60 to 5.70; p = 0.0006), and the primary composite endpoint of death, MI, or stroke (22.6% vs. 12.8%; adjusted HR: 2.13; 95% CI: 1.39 to 3.25; p = 0.0004). Conclusions: In patients with LMCAD undergoing revascularization in the EXCEL trial, NOAF was common after CABG but extremely rare after PCI. The development of NOAF was strongly associated with subsequent death and stroke in CABG-treated patients. Further studies are warranted to determine whether prophylactic strategies to prevent or treat atrial fibrillation may improve prognosis in patients with LMCAD who are undergoing CABG.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)739-748
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 20 Feb 2018


  • atrial fibrillation
  • coronary artery bypass grafting
  • left main disease
  • mortality
  • percutaneous coronary intervention
  • prognosis
  • stroke


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